Monday, May 25, 2009

Stargate (1994) [PG-13] ****

Hidden for millennia beneath cover stones on the Giza Plateau in Egypt, and only uncovered during a 1928 archaeological dig, the Stargate is a ring more than twenty feet in diameter, made of a metal not found on earth. However, more than sixty more years pass before the U.S. Air Force attempts to activate the device at a secret facility in Colorado. After two years of frustration and failure, Dr. Catherine Langford (Viveca Lindfors), the civilian head of the project team, hires controversial Egyptologist Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), just as Col. Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell) takes over command of the project.

With both intuition and luck, Jackson discovers the key to activating the Stargate, which creates a wormhole between itself and a complementary device located a cosmic distance away. After an unmanned probe determines that the planetary body they’ve discovered is an atmospheric match, Jackson volunteers to be part of the military reconnaissance team, to insure they can return home. What he doesn’t understand, is that the team’s mission is not strictly scientific. And only after they goes through the Stargate and emerge on the other side of the wormhole, do they discover that the Earth-like planet they’ve found is populated with a human civilization closely linked with their own - humans who speak a language resembling ancient Egyptian, and who worship the Sun god Ra.

Directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow), Stargate features an inventive script co-written by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, which offers a totally plausible explanation for the existence of the giant pyramids on the Giza Plateau. There’s an excellent cast, especially Spader, Russell, Lindfors and Mili Avital as the girl who teaches Jackson a new, old language. Costumes, sets, cinematography, soundtrack and special effects are outstanding. Stargate is a satisfying sci-fi adventure on all levels; don’t miss it. 

Labels:  action, adventure, sci-fi, space-time
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 42/100
Tomatometer (critics=48, viewers=73)
Wikipedia: Stargate (film)