Quick View: The story of a soldier, an archaeologist, and a wormhole that drops you right at the doorstep of an Egyptian god. What could go wrong?
Full Review: Stargate was a breathtaking, and visually astounding, science fiction movie from the early 90s. This movie helped inspire a lot of my love for science fiction as well as history, and to this day remains one of my favorite movies. With a lead role portrayed by a young Kurt Russell, viewers are treated to a well written and well paced movie complete with a good balance between mystery, action, and drama. The idea for this movie was so inspiring that it lead to not one but three entire TV franchises, lasting a sum total of 17 seasons. It’s
fun, witty, and has you leaving the room with a smile on your face. The movie delivers both strong messages about depression, duty, and the will to persevere, as well as having an honest and enjoyable ending.
The story follows an archeologist by the name of Daniel Jackson, who discovers that the ancient egyptian pyramids actually seem to predate the egyptians credited with building them. Jackson is mocked by the historians and educators of the field, disregarding everything he tries to assert. After leaving his failure of a conference, an older women in a black car offers him a job to prove his theories true. After months of work, Jackson discovers that an ancient cartouche found in egypt had etched in it 6 star constellations, with a 7th symbol representing a pyramid and the sun. This combination turns out to be the code to activate a device called the “Stargate”, an intergalactic wormhole device found buried in Giza. Jackson, accompanied by an Air Force special forces unit lead by Jack O’Neill, a grieving father, step through the event horizon, and embark on a journey that would push each man to their breaking point.
The characters easily define the film and its brilliance. Daniel Jackson’s liberal, pencil pushing demeanor offers great contrast to Russell’s hardened military vet portrayal of O’Neill. The snarky, sarcastic airmen, along with the quirky native inhabitants of the planet Abydos offer a resounding diversity in cast and culture. On top of this, the introduction of the movie does an amazing job giving both of the protagonists a compelling story and reason for being. The conflicts throughout the story between the main villain, as well as the rivalry between each character, helps show the effect that each character’s past has on the mission, themselves, and those around them. Its this attention to detail and skillful writing that makes this movie such a delight to watch.
The scenery and locations used in filming are magnificent, from the decommissioned missile silo to the deserts of Abydos to the large stone temples inside the pyramid and spaceship offer a variety of locations for the actors’ work to play off of. The practical use of the desert throughout the film also adds much more authenticity to the film, and improves on the overall production.
The only problem I can really find with this film is the lack of use of the rest of the Airmen besides Jack O’Neill. They are the proverbial red shirts and act as lambs to the slaughter for most of the film, with even some of the native villagers given more character and importance. Of course, like many of my critiques of good stories, this falls more under opinion then of objective observation. Another problem with the movie is the uncomfortable yet necessary disregard of logic throughout the film. When one of the men suggest dialing the gate from home, he’s met with “It doesn’t work like that.” Why not? Why must it be one way? I didn’t know airmen kowalski here was an expert in physics and the thermodynamics of a wormhole. Other than this, the movie is pretty on par. I highly recommend this film to anybody looking for a great Sci Fi action thriller to watch on a friday night.
Final Score: 9/10