Having earned his stripes by directing a few TV episodes, Frakes makes an auspicious debut as a feature filmmaker, sustaining excitement and maintaining clarity as he dashes through a two-track storyline.
First Contact, written by Ric Berman, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, pulsates with great imagination, amusing characters and the fundamental optimism handed down by "Star Trek" founder Gene Roddenberry.
Even those unfamiliar with the entire "Star Trek" phenomenon (it's now been 30 years since the original TV show sprang from the fertile mind of creator Gene Roddenberry) will find this a clever action movie, with a well-written screenplay and tight direction of a fine cast.
First time director Jonathan Frakes (who also plays Riker, the Enterprise's second-in-command) injects some badly-needed energy and inventiveness into a series that, prior to this effort, was sinking under its own weight and boldly going nowhere.
Unfortunately, left alone on the big screen, distinctly thin characterisation and a plot that looks like a distended television episode, let the new crew down slightly but there are still enough classic moments to keep fans happy.
The series now lacks all of its original stars and much of its earlier determination. It has morphed into something less innocent and more derivative than it used to be, something the noncultist is ever less likely to enjoy.
The best TNG movie. It uses two of the most interesting assets. The Borg and time travel. Also it explores Picards mental scars. I recommend you should have watched the TNG episodes “Q Who” and the two parter “The best of both Worlds”. All are truly excellent (or legendary?) 10/10 episodes and fan favourites. The Borg are the most dangerous and frightening enemy the Federation has ever encountered. It was a new and unique idea for the show and entered pop culture history. The dread is so serious. The Borg are a force that cannot be reasoned with and wont stop until you destroy them. Furthermore they will assimilate everything you have and use it against you (people, resources and technology). Then there is the legendary first contact. It is the starting point for the Federation. There is no weak point in the story. For the characters: You have Picard in one of his best performance. Behind his calm appearance you have a tortured man with scars on his soul that will never heal. Then you have Zefram Cochran. This is the result of heroes worship. The reality cant keep up with the legend that was created. A praiseworthy performance. While all characters deliver a good performance I want to praise especially Lily Sloane, Worf and Data. I must also praise Jonathon Frakes as director for his performance. Overall this is the best movie they did with TNG (by far) and a must see recommendation. Bonus knowledge 1: The Star Trek Destiny novels are a must read for fans. This time it is serious as the Borg see the Federation as treat after the destruction the Voyager crew did in the final episode (= Full scale Borg attack with all available assets!). It closes also all loopholes I am aware of and gives a fascinating origin and praiseworthy conclusion to the Borg. Bonus knowledge 2. There is the gardener theory. It says that the Borg attack in small forces (1 cube / ship) to advance the technological development. The final assimilation occurs only if the civilisation can keep up or they become to close to be a real threat.