A Tale Of Two Time-Travel Treks [Film Quest 2014]

They feature different captains, but each is a highly regarded film of its respective “cast” or “crew”. To cut down on some of the overhead on some movies that came out quite a while ago, I’m combining some of my Film Quest 2014 reviews, and this article covers Star Trek IV: A Voyage Home and Star Trek: First Contact.

Back in December of 2012, I jumped back into the original Star Trek film series after being underwhelmed by the original Motion Picture (I). While Wrath Of Khan (II) and Search For Spock (III) were enjoyable, I didn’t like them enough to seek out The Voyage Home (IV). Having stumbled upon it on Netflix Instant, I decided to give it a whirl, since my Star Trek aficionado friend told me that II / III / IV were essentially considered a trilogy. After watching it, I absolutely agree that A Voyage Home is the most “fun”. While certainly enjoyable, I wouldn’t say it was a great film. Certain parts of it were well executed, as they could’ve easily come across as being absurd or hokie, but adeptly avoided those pitfalls. The characterization of Spock was interesting in this one, as we get to delve a bit deeper into who he is as he gets the same opportunity through necessary self-discovery. I prefer Wrath Of Khan over The Voyage Home, but only slightly. They’re both far superior to Search For Spock.

First Contact is one of the highest rated of the Star Trek films (at least those which feature casts / crews which previously appeared on an incarnation of the television series), and the favorite of my Star Trek aficionado friend. When I spotted it on Netflix, I instantly looked forward to an opportunity to watch it. I always thought The Borg were an interesting villain, not just for the difficulty they pose the Enterprise’s crew, but also because of their nature. The way The Borg were characterized in First Contact was very well done, showing how complex they are as beings. The interaction between the Borg Queen and Data was very intriguing and brought up a lot of questions and interesting concepts. Though it was a good film in a couple respects, for me it falls short of Star Trek: Nemesis.

star-trek_data-borg_queen_200_s

Through some blind luck, it just so happened that both of these Star Trek films involved time travel, making them an interesting duo to pair together. That wasn’t my initial intention, but I managed to randomly see them in the same month for whatever providence that may be.

From what I recall, there was only one part of A Voyage Home which dealt with the impact of time travel in a clever way, that being the invention of transparent aluminum. Other than that part, the other scenes just seemed to be an advanced culture dealing with a more primitive one. First Contact was far more interesting on the topic of time travel. The whole narrative involving the guy they meet and his historic role was just as interesting as Back To The Future.

The only aspect of A Voyage Home which was more enjoyable than First Contact was the way in which they went back in time, with the slingshot around the Sun being more interesting than wandering into the Borg-created wormhole. On the whole, I prefer The Next Generation’s cast / “crew” to the original, so that probably factors into my decision. I did like the fact that Kirk & Crew were piloting a Romulan ship this time around, which was a clever twist.

Verdict:

Star Trek: First Contact [8 / 10]
(Star Trek: Nemesis got 8.5]

Star Trek IV: A Voyage Home [7.5 / 10]
(Wrath Of Khan got 7.8)
(Search For Spock got 6.2)

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