STARRING: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Viveca
Lindfors, Jaye Davidson, Alexis Cruz, Mili Aveital, Leon Rippy,
John Diehl, Carlos Lauchu, Djimon, Erick Avari, French Stewart,
Gianin Loffler, Cecil Hoffman, Raw Allen, Richard Kind
1994, 119 Minutes, Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Description: Hit movie about the discovery of
an ancient portal capable of zipping travelers to "the other side of the known
universe." James Spader plays the Egyptologist who successfully translates the
Stargate's hieroglyphic code, and then joins a hawkish military unit (led by
Kurt Russell) on a reconnaissance mission to see what's on the other side. They
arrive on a desert world with cultural (and apparently supernatural) ties to
Earth's ancient Egypt, where the sun god Ra (played by Jaye Davidson from The
Crying Game) rules a population of slaves with armored minions and startlingly
advanced technology. After being warmly welcomed into the slave camp, the
earthlings encourage and support a rebellion, and while Russell threatens to
blow up the Stargate to prevent its use by enemy forces.
unexpected box office takings of this sleeper sci-fi hit no doubt
gave other sci-fi projects the green light and so 1995 saw more
than the usual number of SF flicks. For that alone it must be
thanked by special effects aficionados. Post-Stargate
sci-fi movies seem to offer little else - witness the team behind
this film, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's next effort: Independence
Day . . .
plot? A mixture between Erich von Daniken, Dune and Aliens as a
marine platoon enters a mysterious dimensional portal activated
thanks to the ingenuity of an Egyptologist (James Spader) to find
a desert planet ruled by an advanced and vicious alien who uses
humans as his slaves. Of course, this idea is laughable: how a
high-tech production process would demand unskilled human
Action follows á la Dune gigantic battle scenes
in the desert. The effects are
well-done and both Spader and Kurt Russell (as the tough-as-nails platoon
leader) give likeable performances.
However, this remains a matinee movie for
the kids and little else. Actually this rather derivative film made me
long for other movies: the opening shot with the "stargate"
being discovered in Egypt made me want to see Raiders of the Lost
Ark again: the film from which the scene was no doubt stolen . .
No sequels were made, but
it did spawn a TV series titled Stargate SG1 which proved to be quite popular with SF