|Star Trek:First Contact/C+,A|
| Revitalizing the Star Trek series by making
a clean break from past voyages of the original Enterprise crew is the perfect flight
plan. To borrow a trekism, the two crews failed to form a viable energy field in Star
Trek: Generations. Star Trek: First Contact starts out with all the dynamic
excitement of prime action Scifi fare. It stimulated my movie glands , priming me for a
grand time in front of the big home theater screen. Ultimately, though, this was another
voyage that left me tethered to the ship with no oxygen tanks.
Star Trek: First Contacts terrific opening sequence begins on Captain Jean-Luc Picards eye and pulls back ever wider, expanding into the monumental Borg ship. Picard turns to a relative insignificant dust particle irritating the specter of Borg domination. The beautiful sequence is a reflection of the special effects work, technically the most sophisticated in the Star Trek body of work. While the maiden solo voyage on film for the crew of the Star Trek: The Next Generation may be a mixed bag, the action on the ship is consistently solid as directed by first-timer Jonathan Frakes with energy to spare.
The plot is woven on the thin strands of time warps and apocalyptic visions. The simple and direct confrontation as the Borg challenge the Enterprise crew for control of their ship is well executed, but it is barely enough material for a fifty minute television episode. And whereas the Borg invasion of the Earth and the battle for the Enterprise are linked, its a big stretch for the concurrent plots to merge coherently.
The Borg, a cybernetic race of ferocious assimilators, are out to replace humankind with their own special brand of man/machine. Seeking their own version of perfection, the Borg march a relentless path toward total assimilation. The Borg do not kill their enemies. They transform them. The Borg are prime enemies to challenge for Enterprise Captain Picard and crew. The attempt to alternate between silly comedy in the Earth scenes and intense action as the Borg coldly fight their way through the many levels of the Enterprise fails unequivocally.
Tone is a
problem in this Star Trek. The Earth sequences fail to capture the innocence of the
original Star Trek shows. The filmmakers dont seem to have a handle on charm. Their
attempts border on crudity. The character of Cochrane, legendary space figure who made
"first contact" possible by his timely flight is simply all wrong. The pioneer
is painted in the broadest cartoon strokes.
|„1998 Stuart J. Kobak , all rights reserved.|