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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Stargate

Starring: Kurt Russell, James Spader
Director: Roland Emmerich
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: October 1994
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors, Alexis Cruz, Mili Avital, Leon Rippy, John Diehl, Erick Avari, Carlos Lauchu

Review by Pedro Sena
2½ stars out of 4

Not being a science fiction fan, I was taken along to go see this film, even though reviews around me had panned this as overweight garbage.

Well, it isn't garbage, and it has a nice premise, and thought it suffers from the goddamned military over tones ( will anyone ever get rid of this crap.? ), it is a nice film, that is fun to watch and for a few brief moments exciting to be a part of.

Being a person that indulges in the arts of meditation and time travelling, it is easy to see why I like certain parts of this film. The time travelling, hits you so fast that your sucked into it before you know what hits you. Nothing like it is expected, or can you possibly envision, and like the several minutes in the older 2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY, leaves you wanting to try it some more, because of its exciting possibilities.

STARGATE is the story of an Egyptian artifact, that seems to have several symbols of the magical kind that connect into something else that most anyone can not figure out. The army has been able to steal the thing and kept it under wraps, and tested the hell out of it, until if finally, comes around to connect with a down and out scientist and explorer, whose name amidst his peers is best known as a comedy of errors and ridicule.

The scientist ( James Spader ), amidst his grief and lack of attention to his theories, is invited to check something out by the government, something that they have enjoyed, but have not able to crack, though they already know what it does. Their experiments have already displayed that there is more to this artifact that it appears, but the symbols in it, are not clear enough for them to try something with it. There are suggestions that some people have died in trying to figure out this thing. And they all agree that this thing is most likely, some sort of gateway to another time. The question is where is the key, and which symbols match, in what order, to create the situation.

In comes our man, to whom the symbols appear to be a minor part of the real exploration, and a suggestion that there is much more to work with. And as soon as it is discovered how it functions the inevitable military expedition is created, to destroy it if it appears that it is not friendly, or helpful. Kurt Russell is the military leader chosen to lead the expedition, and the group enters the space. Our scientist is the last to go in, and naturally he is curious, but cautious. And as soon as he enters the film takes off on its own moment of shining glory, the part that is just absorbing everyone without them knowing it. And there are more symbols in that minute than the film could possibly ever show, but the trip is worth the price of admission, and at least an amusement ride.

As the group arrives in another time and place, they eventually find a place that is in a desert atmosphere, and is ruled by a demonic being, who has designs on doing some more conquering, which includes the earth, and other places to which it can time travel through the magical properties of the gate itself.

And our heroes take on the roles of leaders and help break down the evil, and free the land from the oppressing rulers ( oh, wow !! ) and then the real story has to come into play. It seems that the military expedition was to destroy this other place, because it was thought to be a potential problem. And with the ruler now destroyed, the mission is over and it is time to leave. But the scientist, whose efforts on the earth were laughed at has met a girl he likes, and decides to stay. End of story, but one more trip before it ends.

James Spader is nice to watch, and so easy going amidst people that are so uptight with their knowledge, that it makes for a nice set of exchanges through out the film. He doesn't panic, and is ever the curious scholar in search of his knowledge, where everyone else is basically worried about their ideas and plans. The scientist has no plan.

Jaye Davidson plays the evil ruler that is intent on taking advantage of the Stargate for his own needs and greedy desires. And very good he is, with the help of some magnificent design effects of the electronic kind that shine in the movie. The guards are an electronic version of the real person, and have a power that most people do not. And a mask that is right out of the comic book variety of heroes that we do not often find, in film.

Well designed, pretty to watch, and enjoyable, even if this is not a masterpiece, it does have moments that are just too nice to pass up. The best of them is the trip. Now, if we could get rid of the military exclusions ..... will anyone ever write a Heyerdhal in space.???

Copyright 1996 Pedro Sena

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