Stargate (1994)

Day: January 12th, Movie: 12

This film, which I had never seen before, led to a long running TV show based on it, but I had not watched it either. However, i was aware of Stargate. The TV show featured Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver himself). However, I was not aware of the original film cast which was one of the reasons I was attracted to this film.

I love James Spader. I love Kurt Russell. Both of them in the same movie made Stargate something that I was happy to include in the Genre-ary Sci-Fi DailyView.

After watching this on HBO Max, I have thoughts.

First, according to Rotten Tomatoes, “In modern-day Egypt, professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader) teams up with retired Army Col. Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell) to unlock the code of an interstellar gateway to an ancient Egypt-like world. They arrive on a planet ruled by the despotic Ra (Jaye Davidson), who holds the key to the Earth travelers’ safe return. Now, in order to escape from their intergalactic purgatory, Jackson and O’Neil must convince the planet’s people that Ra must be overthrown.”

Stargate was fun, but it had several moments of real dumbness. Let me start with James Spader. He was great in the film as Daniel Jackson. He played the wonder of the situation beautifully and he made every scene better. Kurt Russell was fine, but I have seen him play this type of role before. However, he is Kurt Russell and he always is watchable. This is no exception.

The effects of the film were pretty decent. It was 1994 and this held up fairly well.

The premise behind the story was pretty good too. I really enjoyed the first act of the film as Daniel was trying to determine what the Stargate was and how it worked. This was definitely the best part of the film. When they went through the Stargate and wound up on the Egypt-like desert planet, things started to take steps backward.

The people they met on this planet were not very relatable. The problem with the language differences kept me from engaging them. Then, the villains were totally campy. They were dressed like Egyptian gods and that just did not work. Some of the dialogue needed to be better, especially in the second and third acts.

Despite the many troubles of the film, there was something fun about Stargate. Director Roland Emmerich is known for the big, dumb, epic films such as Independence Day, White House Down, and The Patriot. He was also responsible for Moonfall, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Godzilla (1998). Stargate falls in between these films. It’s dumb, but fun.

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