Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 4 Beans
targate is a film with a promising concept. However, under the control of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin the film collapses. Together they ran good ideas into the ground in such films as Universal Soldier, Independance Day, and Godzilla, and Stargate is no exception to their "who needs a plot when you have effects" style.
The film starts out interesting enough with a mysterious alien artifact being excavated in Egypt in the twenties, but then it cuts to the present day where egyptologist Daniel Jackson (James Spader) is recuited by the goverment to help decypher symbols on the device. He manages to find the one they were missing and the military reactivates the device which turns out to be a gateway to another world. There is a serious logical problem with this set up, though. There are only about twenty symbols on the stargate and they only needed one, so why didn't they just try them all one at a time sending probes with videocameras through to check if its safe at each activation?
The answer to this question is so they can haul a civilian through the gate with the army troops led by Col. Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russel) and have some dramatic tension when they discover an oppressed people on the other side. Jackson is able to talk to them after some pronunciation trouble despite the amount that a language would have to evolve in four thousand years. Every action film cliche in the book follows as the soldiers proceed to insite rebellion against their opressive alien masters. There's even a countdown that has to be stopped at the climax of the film.
All in all, its not as bad as Emmerich and Devlin's other films, but it certainly isn't that great. The way they somehow keep finding ways to remove more and more plot from each successive film makes me wonder how long it is going to take before there is no longer a script in their movies, but instead merely a series of explosions and a forty million dollar ad campaign (or was that Independance Day?).
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