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Movie Review


Reviewed by: Adam Ross

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teen to Adult
1 hr. 59 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Relevant Issues
Cover art for “Stargate”

Are we alone, or is there life elsewhere in the universe?

Did a Martian meteorite prove the existence of ET?

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?

Were the nephilim (sons of God) of Genesis 6:4 extraterrestrials?

Does Scripture refer to life in space?

Egypt in the Bible

Featuring: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors, Alexis Cruz
Director: Roland Emmerich
Producer: _____
Distributor: _____

“Stargate” is, by far, one of the best films of 1994-95 and is highly recommended for sci-fi fans.

The plot is the usual for one of this genre: a very old woman comes to Professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader), the usual nerd for a Roland Emmerich film (“Independence Day,” “Godzilla,” “The Patriot”) and gives him a job decoding an Egyptian artifact known as the Stargate (hence the films name). When he does, Colonel Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell), a depressed military man, after his son accidentally shoots himself with his father’s gun (not shown in film), travel back through the stargate with a crack commando team and James Spader, who is needed to decode the stargate on the other side of “the known galaxy”. As you have probably guessed by now, there are several things which go wrong once on the other side of the stargate.

One of the things which goes wrong was the arrival of the “Sun God Ra” an evil alien whose race is dying out. Ra’s underlings wipe out the commandos (of course) and O'Neil, Jackson, and a bunch of Earthlings (did I forget to mention that they met a bunch of Earth people there?) and they must battle the astoundingly powerful Sun God Ra (no, no. Alien, not God.) before they can find their way back home.

This film has a great plot and characters, the acting is better than usual, however, it does resolve to gunfire, hand-to-hand fighting, and fighters, and an Independence Day-like explosion to win. I only have a few problems with this film.

  1. Ra has about five scantly clad male children which follow him everywhere.
  2. Ra himself looks like a girl even though he is supposed to be a boy (Hollywood is once again trying to confuse the sexes.)
  3. It contains roughly 10 to 12 profanities, most of which are the usual d-words and h-words, however, the characters do take Christ’s name in vain two times. The other two are the a-word and Son-of-a-b.
  4. At one point, a young woman tries to take her garment off, in front of Spader, but he remains moral and keeps her from doing it. The scene lasts about 25 to 45 seconds.
  5. O'Neil kills one of the bad guys by sending the head up to Ra’s ship, and they show the little red stump at the bottom too.
Overall, though, from a Christian standpoint, I recommend this film, but caution people to be aware of the difficulties in it. Hollywood needs to see that plots are not an excuse for foul language. I found this to be true in “Six Days, Seven Nights”, where the plot became a cussing contest to see how far past the limit they can go.

This film will provide with a chance to have a discussion with your family, and to give you two hours of fun and action.

Viewer Comments
Positive—“Stargate” is one of those science fiction movies that is passed over easily, even by those who watch the spin-off shows. I watched it because it sparked interest in me (several plot-lines in the show are started in this movie). Stargate is, in quick run-through terms, a film about a marvelous alien artifact that was unearthed in Giza, Egypt, way back in the 1920s. Fast forward to 1994, where Colonel O'Neil (Kurt Russell) is battling depression and a sweet young Dr. Jackson (James Spader) is out of work due to his crack-pot theories on aliens in ancient Egypt. Combined with an interstellar traveling device, a wonderful supporting cast (Mili Avital, Alexis Cruz, and John Diehl), and the plot of a lifetime, “Stargate” is worthwhile for non-critical science fiction lovers.

What’s not so good: There are some curse words, and taking the Lord’s name in vain, which was very annoying and offensive. Ra (Jaye Davidson) is a poor villain, seeming feminine at times, who keeps a personal guard of scantily clad children. There is a scene that can be skipped where Sha'ure (Mili Avital) is offered to Dr. Jackson (he refuses in a manner that gives him the air of a gentlemen).

Also, this movie does revolve around Egyptian deities, aliens, and the Earth being millions of years old. This is also very annoying at times, but the topic of how old the Earth supposedly is only comes up once in a while.

As a Christian, I watch science fiction merely for entertainment, not because I believe in it. This film is entertaining, but only for those people who can watch it without being too critical.

Yes, it might offend some Christians, but in that case, I would say skip it and watch Star Wars or Star Trek instead. Stargate is a movie for those who love wormholes and can tolerate Kurt Russell’s boot-camp hair-cut. Note: For movie-making quality I gave it 4 our of 5 because for 1994, it truly was great quality. I love their wormhole effect (which is never as cool in the spin-off shows, either) and some shots in Egypt are just marvelous. Well worth the 4, I think.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Caitlin, age 20 (USA)
Positive—An ancient, circle-shaped machine is found in Egyptian ruins. It is then secretly researched by the US army. With the help of maverick scientist Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader) the machine is put in operation. The machine, called stargate, opens a spacetime wormhole, through which people can pass and emerge on a planet at the other side of the universe.

An army team, accompanied by Dr. Jackson, passes through the gate and appears on the faraway planet Abydos. Here they find an Egyptian-like nation of slaves. They are Earth people, whose forefathers were forced through the stargate by the alien Sun-god Ra. For centuries Ra has ruled over them, but is now confronted by the army team and eventually destroyed, when a nuclear bomb is exploded in his starship.

The Abydosian people are set free and the army team returns back to Earth. The movie is fairly clean, with few occasional profanities. There are many scenes of combat; some show wounded people and people in physical pain. One torture scene shows Ra killing a man; the scene is quite offensive. Overall, there is little graphic violence, no nudity or sex scenes. If you can skip/ignore the above weak points in the movie, its ideas are thought-provoking. The ancient Sun-god Ra is actually an evil alien, backed up by powerful technology. Pagan worship of the Sun is shown to come from evil, powerful aliens. Their miracles are product of high technology.

Watch out: Ra is able to resurrect the dead by placing them in his sarcophagus. This may be viewed as skepticism regarding biblical resurrection. Also, Ra’s eyes flash with light, which seems to be based on the literal description of God (Daniel 10:6) and Jesus (Revelation 19:11-13). The voice of Ra is like the voice of many, which matches the description of the voice of Jesus (Revelation 1:15).

In the end, Ra is killed by the rebelling humans. This seems acceptable, because Ra is a pagan god… Yet it also seems that Ra resembles Jehovah and Jesus quite a bit. The movie almost places Ra’s evil character and limitations on the God of the Bible as well. Again, the movie is indeed worth watching; but it contains atheist ideas—something that should be bourne in mind…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jay, age 40 (Canada)