STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, Dwight Schultz

1996, 112 Minutes, Directed by: Jonathan Frakes

(Guest review by: Harry Hattaingh)

The Borg (and we are assured that they are not Swedish) are invading the Federation again. This time round this ugly Jungian (Jung happened to be Swiss) collective consciousness is heading for planet Earth. Looking at them you get flashbacks to Friday the 13th, but no, it is, in fact, the 4th of April 2063, the day before humans will make 'first contact' with an alien race and so, join the universe in that good old intergalactic enterprise in which the driving force of humanity will no longer be money, booze and sex, but rather ... more humanity.

So it's like a full-blown duel between Jung and Marx, or even Kropotkin with a little Wale-wisdom from Melville thrown in for good measure. You don't believe me? It's all in the text.

Strange to notice, however, that even in our most idealistic moments, we can't shake off our love for booze and rock'n'roll. The 24th century sure shows some signs of real humanity, but where's the booze and the music? Does that mean that, in order to become more humane, we will have to stop listening to that sweet music? The movie is riddled with such deep and perplexing questions.

There is even a quasi-epistemological quip about the relation between human sensory perception, knowledge, and desire. I must add that none of this explains adequately why the Starship Enterprise's life-crafts resemble chevron-wrapped baby-grand piano's. Is director Jonathan Frakes (who also plays Commander Riker in the film) afraid to face up to this question?

So obviously if you thought you were just going to sit back and watch aliens die, think again ... or don't think and go and see that awful Independence Day thing.

I basically recommend the movie for the hologram-novel episode.



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