Written by Roland Emmerich & Dean Devlin/Directed by Roland Emmerich/Music by David Arnold/Starring Kurt Russell & James Spader
Linguist and Egyptologist Daniel Jackson is in rather a bad spot in his career, largely due to his holding some rather atypical ideas regarding the origins of the pyramids. So when the government offers him a job translating some hieroglyphics and other text, it’s rather an offer he can’t resist. Not that he really wants to, once he sees the original source–a huge stone ring proclaiming itself to be a “stargate.” And after Daniel solves the other symbols (which had been baffling the others for ages) in a matter of days, they are able to activate the gate, sending a team through on a mission they will never forget.
In terms of geeky movies that I absolutely love, Stargate has to be at the top of the list. Not only is it great science fiction (which it is), but it’s also just a fantastic story. I love the Egyptological element–I’ve seen several sources attribute the pyramids to alien sources, and (while I obviously don’t believe that) I find it makes great fiction. What really makes Stargate stand out in my mind, though, is the characters, the acting. The entire cast is quite good, and the characters they play are a nice mix–enough to bring in a blend of action, adventure, psychological angst, romance, and humor. But Daniel makes the story, in my opinion. He is the sort of person I’d like to know in real life–nice, super-smart, socially inept, and not exactly able to deal with the world at large. Basically a geek and a dweeb of the best sort. Stargate is definitely on my recommended list for anyone who likes science fiction, but I would note that even those who don’t care for the genre are likely to enjoy this simply for the story.
Note: This review applies only to the original movie. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the TV series, and frankly, I despise it. They ruined Daniel’s character–making him far too cool, for one–which basically destroys the whole point. So just watch the movie and leave it at that, okay?