Friday, May 14, 2010

Star Trek: First Contact

So this is the best of the four films by reputation, and I do have to say I'd agree. It's still not one of the best movies in the whole franchise, and really just a pretty competent action movie. It features Picard's greatest foes, the Borg, attempting to rewrite the history of humanity. After facing defeat in a large space battle, they propel themselves back in time to the week when Zefram Cochrane makes first contact with Vulcans and thus inserts humanity into the galactic picture. Their goal is to prevent this from happening and at the same time assimilate the planet before the people know how to defend themselves. Luckily for the Enterprise, they are able to follow them into the past and attempt to stop them. Apparently, the Borg lack the same grip on the logic of time travel that Picard did in the last movie, which is that it would be easier to prevent something from happening if you went back farther than a few minutes beforehand. Skynet figured it out, why couldn't they? Time travel has a tendency to mess up good storytelling, especially when the characters simply don't think it through.

Besides these and some other issues, it's a pretty entertaining movie. There's a good variety of solid action scenes. James Cromwell shows up as Cochrane, and the depiction of one of the most important humans in history as a grizzled drunk just trying to make some money is kinda funny. It is weird how they picked someone who looks nothing like the guy from the original series, but it can be forgiven I guess. And it's fun to see Picard act with vengeance and fury, even if it means he's wildly different from the person he was for seven years on television. One of the reasons I started this whole thing was to see him shoot up a nightclub with a machine gun, and it was pretty glorious. I'm not sure I liked the addition of a queen into the whole Borg ecosystem, but she's probably the most successfully menacing villain in any of these movies, so I'll give it a pass too. Not much to say about the rest of the cast - Data has a somewhat interesting subplot if one that I'm a bit tired of hearing about, and by this point Deanna seems like a completely different person, as if Marina Sirtis is the only one who didn't bother to remember what her character was like. Not a great movie, but not bad either.

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