After seemingly closing off the saga of the original series cast on a high note with “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” the sci-fi world of “Star Trek” once again returned to the big screen. This time around, though, they’d have an entirely new crew. Well, not really, as bridging the gap between the two series was “Star Trek: Generations,” a film with an unmatched number of talented actors and potential that ultimately failed to deliver. A few years later “Star Trek: First Contact” would follow, hoping to finally get the crew of “The Next Generation” onto proper film footing.
Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes, was in the director’s chair for the follow-up, and ready to give audiences a Trek film worth watching. Set amidst a fresh assault by the Federation’s longtime adversary the Borg, Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) must lead his crew while facing off against his own storied past with the cybernetic hivemind. Unlike their last encounter, however, this time the Borg have added an entirely new weapon to their arsenal: time itself.
Grand enough in scale to be fittingly cinematic while also retaining the intelligent nature of the classic television series, this was Trek in movie form done right. While it certainly doesn’t reach any of the truly great moments in “Star Trek” that we got in films like “The Wrath of Khan,” it comes pretty close, and winds up not only being leagues above “Generations,” but the standout entry among all four of the “Next Generation” films.