Stargate Review

When did I miss the event that made Stargate worthy of an "Ultimate Edition" DVD, complete with director's cut? I guess that MacGyver-starring TV show thing is more popular than I thought.

Anyway, if you're unfamiliar with Stargate, the story is pretty straightforward. Military types unearth a big metal ring encoded with Egyptian hieroglyphics, then import a kooky archeologist (James Spader) to figure out what it does -- which, within 30 minutes, involves the opening up of a portal to another world, millions of light years away.

Based on the theory that aliens built the pyramids (and colonized the earth), Stargate outruns this hokey premise with a story that focuses on space-travelling pretty-boys (including The Crying Game's Jaye Davidson as Ra) who enslave a primitive human race (writing is forbidden!) and travel around via a network of stargates to enslave further races. The remainder of the film focuses on head military honcho Kurt Russell trying to nuke everything.

The thinness and bizarre randomness of the story (from big explosion-type scenes to ill-advised Spader-slave love moments to creepy Egyptianish kid-gods crawling around all over the place) is equalled by some unimpressive special effects -- the trip through the stargate is one of the least interesting "transport" effects in movie history. While Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin would get much bigger budgets for the entertaining Independence Day and the notoriously awful Godzilla, Stargate remains a mere curiosity among sci-fi flicks.

Strangely, the only two extras on the DVD are commentary from Emmerich and Devlin (somewhat interesting: for example, those aren't human extras, they're costumes on sticks!) and a short "documentary" about why the pyramids were really built by spacemen.

Grumpy alien!


Facts and Figures

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th October 1994

Box Office Worldwide: $196.6M

Budget: $55M

Distributed by: Artisan Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Carolco Pictures, Canal+, Centropolis Film Productions

Reviews 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 21

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew


Producer: , , Joel B. Michaels

Starring: as Colonel Jonathan O'Neil, as Dr. Daniel Jackson, as Skaara, as Catherine, as Sha`uri, as General West, as Lt. Kawalsky, as Anubis, as Ra, as Horus, as Kasuf, as Lieutenant Ferretti, Derek Webster as Brown, as Nabeh, Christopher John Fields as Freeman