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It turns out there's a conspiracy afoot, masterminded by the devious, gruesomely aged Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham, hamming it up under makeup resembling a cosmetic surgeon's worst nightmare), who's in cahoots with a renegade Starfleet admiral (Anthony Zerbe, in one of his final screen roles). They covet the fountain-of-youth power of the Ba'ku planet, but because their takeover plan violates Starfleet's Prime Directive of non-interference, it's up to Picard and crew to stop the scheme. Along the way, they all benefit from the metaphasic effect, which manifests itself as Worf's puberty (visible as a conspicuous case of Klingon acne), Picard's youthful romance with a Ba'ku woman (the lovely Donna Murphy), the touching though temporary return of Geordi's natural eyesight, and a moment when Troi asks Dr. Crusher if she's noticed that her "boobs are firming up".
Some fans scoffed at these humorous asides, but they're what make this Trek film as entertaining as it is slightly disappointing. Without the laughs (including Data's rousing excerpt from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore), this is a pretty routine entry in the franchise, with no real surprises, a number of plot holes, and the overall appearance of a big-budget TV episode. As costar and director, Jonathan Frakes proves a capable carrier of the Star Trekflame--and it's nice to see women in their 40s portrayed as smart and sexy--but while this is surely an adequate Trek adventure, it doesn't quite rank with the best in the series. --Jeff Shannon
the film centers aroung picard defying starfleet orders to prevent 600 people from being uprooted from their planet. i do feel more could have been made of this. Kirk did a similar thing in Star Trek III and ended up stealing the enterprise, going to a forbidden planet and ultimately blowing the ship up. THAT'S how you disobey orders. picard on the other hand, merely hangs around when told to return to earth,makes a nuisance of himself and ends up arguing with an admiral - not quite in the same league.
Despite this there is still plenty to keep audiances entertained.
i was disappointed that there was no director's commentry. Jonathan Frakes came across really well on the commentery to First Contact, as genuinely nice guy who enjoys his flimaking, so i felt a little let down by the absence of any commentry here. he does make up for it in the movie, however, by showing us the best way to have a shave (the lucky git!!!).
All in all, a solid addition to the series and well worth adding to your collection.
Some people have said this is the worst film of the series bar The Final Frontier ( a film some people have called one of the worst films ever... clearly a ridiculus statement to make considering there are hundreds of worse films than that and the person saying this couldn't possibley have seen every film to make this judgement).
For some people something is either great, or rubbish. A trait which comes from reading too many tabloid newspapers who couldn't give a balanced view of things if their life depended on it.
It's no First Contact, but then only The Wrath of Khan betters that and being a fan of all the series of Star Trek I feel this makes a worthy edition to the franchise.
Star Trek isn't all about blowing Borg/Romulans/Klingons to kingdom come, there is another side to it and this film is that side.
If you want to see a follow-on from the Next Generation series, then watch Generations. If you want an all-out action film, First Contact is for you. But following on from First Contact this film made for a nice change of pace.
The reason I've given it only four stars has nothing to do with the plot or feel of the film. There is one scene during a battle sequence where a helicopter-style joystick is used by Commander Riker to pilot the Enterprise from the command seat, which kind of makes you wonder why the helmsman has such a complicated control board in front of him if a good old 20th century joystick is all that's needed.
As for this story being more like a big-budget series 2-parter, so what? Personally, I'd love to see the Next Generation 2-part episode 'Best Of Both Worlds' in uninterrupted widescreen format.
Keep the Treks coming and I'll look forward to number 10 sometime in 2001!