An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.
STARGATE isn't so much as " old fashioned " , it's just got a rather old type of plot that's versatile . It's almost like a Tarzan movie from the 1940s where a bunch of good white guys ( In movies in those days bad guys were usually white - The good guys were always white ) team up with the king of the jungle in order to fight a bunch of evil slave traders . The story could easily be reworked with a bunch of 18th century good guys led by Errol Flynn getting shipwrecked on an island where they meet noble natives and defend them from evil pirates . Rewatching this movie again after a gap of several years I often forgot that I was watching a far fetched SF blockbuster and thought I was watching a historical drama , something that's not to be taken as a criticism . I also became aware of subtle plot points that I'd missed on first viewing . For example I thought the death of O'Neil's son was so underdeveloped that it was totally unnecessary to include this in the movie but there's a couple of scenes where it is important to the plot later on . I also knew that the movie wasn't going to be an ALIENS type of movie , something the original trailers confused me about . let's face it , a special forces team creeping about a dark pyramid . It's got be similar in tone to ALIENS . If that's what you think STARGATE is going to be about you'll be as disappointed as I was first time I saw it
Of the cast Kurt Russell and his special forces group are slightly wooden but I won't criticise the cast since these type of characters always lack flair in these genre movies . James Spader is slightly unconvincing as hero Dan Jackson due to wimpish nature and effette hairstyle ( Was Jackson conceived as a female character ? ) but Jaye Davidson is absolutely superb as Ra . This is the same Jaye Davidson from THE CRYING GAME and I was totally shocked to find this was the second and last feature film he appeared in . According to the trivia section of STARGATE it appears he's difficult to work with but someone cast him in more movies please
As for the Roland Emmerich / Dean Devlin partnership there are a few faults . One is the opening of the script that contains no hook and fools the audience into thinking they'll be watching a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK type movie which they won't be . The script also contains a few unlikely plot holes such as the special forces team taking some GPS equipment with them something that wouldn't work on a planet where humanity had never been , and also discovering in an unlikely scenario that they won't be able to return to Earth thanks to Jackson . There is a very interesting point to the subtext however and that is that if there is a god it doesn't necessarily mean he'll be benign or good . Food for thought . Thankfully Emmerich doesn't go overboard on the CGI while he also had the good sense ( Say it again ) to cast Jaye Davidson as Ra
By no means a classic SF movie STARGATE is solid entertainment and is rather more enjoyable on second viewing
- Theo Robertson
- Sep 21, 2004