Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate, created by Roland Emmerich: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In 1928 a giant ring was discovered in the sands of Giza.  The symbols on the ring were foreign but the cover stone placed in front of it had ancient Egyptian markings on it.

When a young Egyptologist and linguist, Daniel Jackson, gets laughed out of every single institution he has tried to pitch his bizarre idea that aliens might have been involved in many ancient societies, mainly Egyptian culture, he is approached by Catherine Langford to come and translate a series of symbols her team has been unable to make heads or tails of.

As he studies the cover stone, he translates one set of glyphs as “stargate” which use constellations to coordinate the destinations of the stars.  When they use the symbols that Jackson discovered the Stargate, an actual entity that was pulled out of the desert in Giza, a wormhole is created, and a probe is sent through to see what may be on the other side.

They get the all-clear to go to the other planet, a team of military men accompanied by Jackson step though the Gate and enter the arid desert planet of Abydos.  They locate the way to get back home but without the correct combination the team may never get back.

As they explore the outlying area near the gate, they discover a civilization not much more advanced than where the Egyptians were thought to be when they buried the Gate themselves.  As Jackson tries to communicate with the people of the planet, which they discover is called Abydos, his necklace (given to him by Langford) is revealed and the people drop to their knees.  They believe that he is sent from their god Ra to speak on his behalf.

The team begins to uncover what is actually going on upon the planet and who Ra actually is…a threat to both Abydos and Earth alike.  They begin to formulate a plan.  And when Colonel Jack O’Neil reveals that he has been sent on this mission with a nuclear bomb the whole team wonders if it may not be the fact that they cannot find the coordinates to get home that will be the end of their lives.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Adventure

-Creator: Roland Emmerich

-Length: 121 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate science-fiction violence and gore, mild sex and nudity, moderate profanity, mild use of tobacco and alcohol, moderate frightening scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jayne Davidson, Viveca Lindfors, Alexis Cruz, Mili Avital, Leon Rippy, John Diehl, Erik Avari, French Stewart, Carlos Lauchu

-Page of Reference in RP1: 215

Review (contains spoilers):

This is probably my favorite science-fiction film of all time.  I watch a lot of sci-fi but rarely does a story capture my attention the way this one does.  For me it has a similar idea to Star Trek…exploration of another world and culture.  Daniel Jackson is by far my favorite character.  And this carries into the show even after the actor changes.

I love the world that they set up in this film.  The creatures that enslave people in the name of a god they take the mantle of.  It left so much potential in the universe for the world to be expanded…and expand they did.

There is so much here that can be noted and explored.  The psychology that Ra uses to suppress the people from the banishment of written language to the suppression of technology.  The fear and the legends.  The pain that the team is running from. Jack from the death of his son and Daniel from the death of his parents. 

The movie is complex and deep with so very many layers.  There are heartfelt moments, bits of comedy, drama and fear…it really is a very beautifully put together film that I have watched many times and spawned one of my all time favorite television series.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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