17 July 2016

Star Trek 8: First Contact

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Star Trek 8: First Contact - what the fuck was it about?

So I guess this is really the first movie to show just the Next Generation team in action, and I did like the variety of Mr Wharf, Data, and Picard. With them, you have a dark-skinned Klingon, a pale android, and grossest of all... a fucking bald man. This time however we're told that “The Borg have gone back in time in order for them to be able to assimilate the future” Or to put it another way.. “some sci-fi shit is happening and so let's crack on”. In this movie, Patrick Stewart must go back in time to prevent past events from destroying the future, although unlike in Days Of Future Past, this time he actually gets off his lazy arse and goes himself. Oh, and this time, the villains are the previously mentioned Borg who travel around annoying people in giant metal cubes. So I guess they're a bit like intergalactic caravaners. The only thing is that the Borg aren't actually shown for ages and so all you know is that parts of them are made of metal and they like whatever room they're in to be uncomfortably hot. So for the first half of the movie I was basically just picturing my Nan.

So was it shit or not then?

Well, there's a lot of reference throughout to Picard having been previously tampered with by the Borg in the TV show. But all we really get to see of this is a quick flash back of him having a drill stabbed into his eyes, which coincidentally reminded me of what it felt like to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But to somebody that's only watching the films this aspect is a little confusing, especially considering it adds basically nothing to the story except occasionally making Picard angry for no real reason. But if you can all recall, it really only takes the sight of James Cordon hosting an award ceremony to make Patrick Stewart angry, and I didn't need to watch a TV show to understand that. It was pretty fucking obvious that he was pissed.

In fact, the whole movie kind of just felt like a big-budget episode of a TV show really, with its only claim to being cinematic being that it's a TV show that's dressed up in sci-fi clothes. So, you get a couple of space-based dog-fights and explosions that cause people to comically trampoline around the Enterprise Bridge as though they're the silhouetted ladies from the opening titles to a Roger Moore Bond film. But it really doesn't look like a movie. I mean, even in terms of design you can tell that the Shatner films originate from a 60's sensibility, because everything is made of lava-lamps and would be pretty fucking fun to stare at when stoned. However when looking at everything here, the only real thing that dates it to the 90's is the ageing CG and that last few survivors of Patrick Stewart's hair. Oh, and as much as I do love Stewart, to somebody with my experience of Star Trek, this crew just really doesn't feel as iconic as the big-eared Spock or the sausage-shaped Kirk.

Having said all that, I did enjoy First Contact for what it was. The Borg's Queen was a cool character, although when she announced that she “brings order to chaos” it made me see her as less as a villain and more as the woman who could sort out the queueing system at my local chippy. Oh, and I do like Data too. At one point, and despite being a robot, the Queen asks him how long it's been since he last got laid, to which he responds “Eight years, seven months, sixteen days, four minutes, twenty-two seconds”. It's getting depressing how much I relate to him. Still it's enjoyable to see him essentially deconstruct humanity by trying to understand us. And it was fun to see James Cromwell pop up in this too. He plays a drunken rocket-scientist that spends a lot of his time chasing after whatever woman he can spot. If I have to watch James Cromwell being overly interested in a tasty babe then I definitely prefer Star Trek: First Contact to fucking Pig In The City.