Star Trek VIII First Contact was directed by Jonathan Frakes and his directing skills make this film one hell of a ride. It has action, suspense, drama and just the right amount of reflective time to keep you guessing and wanting as you watch the film unfold. This film is a true gem in the Star Trek franchise and I hope that Frakes who also plays William T. Riker comes back to direct even more Star Trek in the future. He inspires the actors to bring all of the returning and new characters to life as you have never seen them. Gone are all the stupid dumb women that played key roles that they should never have had to begin with. All the leading actresses in this film are strong and confident and is reflective of Jonathan’s directing style.
In First Contact we begin with Jean-Luc Picard played by Patrick Stewart reflecting and dreaming of when he had been assimilated into the Borg collective and his time as Locutus. It is a time that brings nightmares to him and it is those experiences that shape how he interacts with the Borg. He hates them but just will not fully admit that he does so it is also his encounter with the Borg that causes Star Fleet to keep him away from anything related to the Borg. It is Picard believes that Command feels that he would succumb to them again if he were to be in close proximity to them. It is for this reason that when the Borg enter Federation space that the Enterprise is sent to do scans of the Romulan Neutral Zone instead of joining the fleet to intercept the Borg Cube.
After the first sensor sweep the Enterprise receives word that the Fleet has engaged the Borg and Picard has Lieutenant Hawk played by Neal McDonough to put a special Star Fleet frequency on audio so that they can hear what is happening in the battle. While this is happening Picard has been hearing the voices of the Collective in his head. Some part of him is still attuned to the Borg and he starts to use this as an advantage when he commands the Enterprise to break orders and race to the fleet to help with the battle. Once they arrive they see that the fleet is taking a beating and looking as if they would not have a way to win the battle. Picard listens into the collective and after taking command of the armada he orders them to target a seemingly unimportant part of the ship. A point that Data played by Brent Spiner seems happy to point out.
As the ships begin to fire on the one spot we get to see the grandure of the might that the Federation has at its command in battle as well as see how well special effects computer wizardry can really be. With several years of space experience under their belts the effects team had the ships look as if they were about to pop off the screen and fly around in space for real instead of just being a bunch of pixels on a dead computer screen. Many films that are made with the computer just look fake but with the team that writer producer Rick Berman has put together that is just not the case with this film. We can believe that everything we are seeing is real because it has been created and not just made as well as it has. It is real to us because it looks real, something that many films just do not have. Once the Cube starts to fall apart in the resulting explosions we see a port open and a spherical ship emerge trying to escape. This is where things really start to get interesting and leads to First Contact.
The Borg want to change the past and are using Chronometric particles to be able to travel back in time. They want to get rid of the threat to their race and replace it with their own and the Borg Queen played by Alice Krige believes they can do so in the past. She plans on making it so that Zefram Cochrane played by James Cromwell never makes his first warp ship test flight. If he never makes the flight then he and the Earth never meet the Vulcans which eventually leads to the creation of Star Fleet and the United Federation of Planets. If none of that ever happens then the Borg will never have an enemy to begin with. The Enterprise and its crew actually see part of that future as they were chasing the Borg back into the past. It is up to the ship and her crew to make sure that the Borg fail in the attempt and make sure that history flows the way it should.
This is one of the better Trek films that has been made and is on par with the film that Chris Pine made just recently. With all the cast and crew being from Next Generation we have a film that flows and does not stumble all over itself like we see in many of the previous Trek film. This one film solidified the franchise in a way that made it possible to make more shows and movies. It is this reviews belief and feeling that this one film made sure that Star Trek is going to be with us for generations to come and maybe even far beyond our own First Contact.
I give this film a Musing review of