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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Patrick Stewart
Jonathan Frakes
Brent Spiner
LeVar Burton .
Directors
Jonathon Frakes.
Screenwriters
Gene Roddenberry
Rick Berma
Brannon Braga
Ronald D Moore.
Running Time
106 minutes

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Star Trek: First Contact
Jean Luc does battle with The Borg


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Plot
Capt. Picard and his crew pursue the Borg back in time to stop them from preventing Earth from initiating first contact with alien life.


Review
Just as they saw The Wrath of Khan rescue the Star Trek franchise from the deathly pomposity of the first movie, Trekkers will be looking to First Contact to set the tone for the second phase of the series — Generations having had the benefit of the reassuring presence of William Shatner, and the novelty of seeing him offed.

Unfortunately, left alone on the big screen, distinctly thin characterisation and a plot that looks like a distended television episode, let the new crew down slightly but there are still enough classic moments to keep fans happy. First Contact finds Jean Luc Picard (Stewart) aboard a new Enterprise heading off to do battle with the Borg, a rapacious cyber "collective" intent on assimilating the human race into its "hive", a process which involves slicing off limbs, drilling into eyeballs and generally mucking people about.

Having had his own brush with Borgification in the telly series, Picard is uncharacteristically vengeful. After plunging through a bargain basement optical effect, the crew finds itself on 21st century Earth, as Riker (Frakes) and Geordi (Levar Burton) — now sporting a dinky pair of electronic eyes — fight to ensure that man's first warp jaunt goes off without a hitch.

Debut big screen director Frakes wisely saves his special effects budget for two key sequences — a battle with the Borg and a spacewalk on the hull of the Enterprise. Using these, a truly impressive opening shot and enough in-jokes and series references, he aims to distract Trekkers from the distinctly cheap-looking remainder. But what he loses is the cosy sense of family which the TV series drew upon, with most characters looking thin and lost on the big screen, and some (Dr. Crusher and Councillor Troy, in particular) almost totally ignored. And with a script that plunges right into the action, there's nowhere near enough time for those not familiar with the series to get to know and care about the characters.

The exceptions are Stewart as Picard, who gets his own scenery chewing big speech, and Brent Spiner as Pinocchio-esque android Data who has long had the most interesting role and for whom assimilation has its own attractions. However, with so many series showing simultaneously on televisions the world over, there's a sense that a movie is nothing all that special. Paramount execs may want to consider rationing their output a bit more rigorously if they're not going to overdose its audience.


Extras

Star Trek: First Contact Star Trek: First Contact
Released: 06 June 2005
Up to the usual high Trek standard, with a jolly commentary by director Jonathan Frakes and scads of treats — three hours of ‘making of’s, ‘how it was done’s, interviews and information on Borg lore, plus a lovely tribute to composer Jerry Goldsmith.


Verdict
Where Star Trek is concerned, less may well be more.


Reviewed by Adam Smith

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Star Trek: First Contact
Empire Star Rating

Star Trek: First Contact Review

First Contact contains enough enjoyable moments to appeal to non-Star Trek fans, action-packed and intelligent. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 11:48, 20 December 2011 | Report This Post


Best Next Gen Film, period.

Totally disagree with your review, I'm afraid. Best of the Next Gen films, and probably a close second behind "Wrath of Khan" for best Trek film. It feels like a film, sounds like a film and has a star turn from Patrick Stewart, who milks his RSC roots for all they're worth. I'm admit, it helps to already be a fan of the series, in that the characters might appear "thin" because a lot of the joy in the film comes from seeing how far they've come. For instance, just bei... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mopictures at 14:54, 17 May 2010 | Report This Post


4/5 Atleast!

Love the Borg, love the Trek ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by indysid at 22:47, 12 November 2008 | Report This Post


God I love this movie.

I mean it. Not only is this the best Star Trek, but on a personal level I would actually rank it as one the best films I have ever seen. Great premise, effects, script and acting. I never really liked the Original Series, Next Generation was always my favourite. Giving them their own film was great. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Gran2 at 15:42, 24 March 2008 | Report This Post


... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by neilcorbel at 14:34, 12 October 2006 | Report This Post


I strongly beleieve the Borg seen in the show was enough to keep them mystified, but a space battle that well done is a space battle well done, and kudo's to that. However, I struggle to see that there is actually anything else that merits the film. A real pathetic plot dribbling in time travel (though the destination interesting) doesn't really leave much to be desired and the capture of the Enterprise with an Alien-like scene in a vent throws caution to the wind...only to have it thrown rig... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joelteon7 at 17:12, 19 July 2006 | Report This Post


first contact

the best movie of star trek ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by STARTREK at 02:30, 01 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Absolutely the best Trek movie, and by a good way.  The borg are classic bad guys, Stewart and Spiner are genuinely allowed to develop their characters a little, the performances of Alfre Woodard and James Cromwell are fantastic and even Troi's laughable drunk scene can be taken in good humour.  A million miles from what the preachy and tedious show became, and possibly the finest sci-fi film of the 90s.  8/10 ... More

Posted by rudeboy at 14:06, 24 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

You gave Insurrection 4 stars but First Contact 3?  ... More

Posted by Castor Troy at 10:37, 24 February 2006 | Report This Post


the best trekkie movie ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by luvinfilms at 09:11, 24 February 2006 | Report This Post



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