Film Scouts Reviews

"Star Trek: First Contact"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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Nov. 21, 1996

Earth is under attack. Only Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise can save it, the Federation, and mankind. Sure, it sounds familiar. "Star Trek: First Contact" is the eighth Trek feature, and the first starring the cast of TV's "Next Generation", without William Shatner at the helm or any of the other originals. There is trouble in space and on Earth, internal and external. Picard is troubled by his Borg encounters in the past, and the Borg are messing with Earth's past. And although it may be the next stanza in the same song, this version has flair, humor and action.

Patrick Stewart as Picard will set the Menopause Mommas' hearts aflutter as he morphs from cerebral leader to muscular man of action. Joining him is the standard crew: Jonathan Frakes (Cdr. Riker), Brent Spinner (android Lt. Cdr. Data), LeVar Burton (Lt. Cdr. Geordi La Forge), Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher), Michael Dorn (Lt. Cdr. Worf) and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi). Oscar nominees Alfre Woodard and James Cromwell guest star as twenty-first century scientists sought by the Borg and the Enterprise crew. Cromwell is best known as the dancing Farmer Hoggett in "Babe". For the uninitiated, the Borg are intergalactic cyborgs bent on absorbing every life form they encounter. As the Borg queen, Alice Krige is a stunning villain. The design team of costumer Deborah Everton and Academy- and Emmy-Award-winning make-up artist Michael Westmore have achieved feats that just weren't possible with the weekly deadlines of a TV show.

Yeah, this is one of the best Star Treks ever, and some of the credit has to go to scripters Brannon Braga and Ronald Moore. Director Jonathan Frakes has to get kudos for bringing the heart and soul of Gene Roddenberry's positive future to the screen once again. Frakes credits the "shorthand that has developed over ten years of working together." Being on both sides of the camera seems to come naturally to him. So join the crew of the Enterprise E for a fast ride through the future. Rated PG-13 (Paramount).

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