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Film Review - Star Trek - First Contact
You remember Zefran Cochrane? He invented warp drive. Well, according to the 1960's Star Trek, he invented the Space Warp. You also remember the Borg? They made Calvin Klein's crappy designs for malnourished people wearing black and white with tubes sticking out of their heads popular.
Star Trek - First Contact leverages a lot of Trek history. Producer Rick Berman has reached to the far corners of the Trek universe to assemble all the pieces for this story. Too bad he got the timelines wrong. More on that later.
First Contact starts quickly and keeps moving. The modern Star Trek theme comes up under the Paramount logo to make it obvious to anyone who came to see The Mirror Has Two Faces that they are in the wrong theater.
Picard - The Security Risk
So the Borg are back wrecking the neighborhood. They've got their eyes on Earth and the Star Fleet is massing to create a really nice space battle scene. Where's the "Big E"? Looking for sneaky Romulans who might want to invade in the middle of an invasion, and get assimilated themselves. As if! For some strange reason, Star Fleet Command thinks of Picard as a security problem since he has been a Borg in the past. There's something to that. Picard is hearing the Borgs' thoughts and seeing them in his dreams. But that is his tactical advantage. (The boys and girls of Star Fleet Command must really be stupid.)
The Return of James T. Kirk
Picard disobeys orders, swears, and kisses a girl in this movie! Wait a minute, that's not J.L. Picard the Al Gore of Star Fleet; that's got to be James T. Kirk, Space Syphilis Poster Boy! What must have happened at the end of Star Trek - Generations is James T. Kirk's mind moved into Picard's body just before death. That's the only explanation for the change in Picard's behavior. Damn, it would have been a giveaway if he called Data Spock.
Let's Do The Time Warp Again!
I am really tired of Star Trek time travel stories. For one thing they never get time travel right. In this movie, they travel through time, and can see the Earth during the journey. HEY GUYS! EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE IS MOVING! In 200 years, the Earth will be somewhere else! DUH!
The target of this time travel is the aforementioned Zefran Cochrane. The Borg have decided they can't defeat the Federation in their present time, so they'll jump back in time and change a critical event to prevent the Federation from coming about. That event is First Contact with an alien race.
Zefran Cochrane's first warp trial is detected by an alien race and that causes Earth to change its ways and start making nice after World War III. Yeah, right. (This is a change in Trek history.) Cochrane's character is really screwed up in this movie. His motivations are wrong. You never believe he could have thought up this stuff.
There's also a huge credibility gap in his scientific methods. He on his first try succeeds? Nope, it doesn't work like that. Systems are tested in real life. The truth is, if we ever do build a warp drive, it won't have an astronaut on the first flight. No spacecraft has ever had a drive system tested with people on board.
This is a fun movie to watch; there are lots of little Star Trek insider jokes tossed here and there. The Star Trek history is knocked out of place by about 100 years, but only Trekkers are going to know that. The craftsmanship of movie making is done well here. But we've seen this all before! There's very little new.