Fresh from "The Crying Game" controversy, Jaye Davidson appears as himself - though an alien - in "Stargate."
'Stargate' spins into another world.
By FRED RICE
If you are curious as to whether or not the Egyptians built
the pyramids, forget about reading
Directed by Roland
Emmerich; with Kurt
- Russell, James
one that should
add, beside itsPG-
13 warning: "Ex-
tremely lame stuff
for the enjoyment
of sci-fi, fantasy
is a giant ring that spins and transports you to another world
if you know how to play with the hieroglyphics inscribed
upon it. As in the tradition of all great sci-fi, the United States
military is going to send an expedition through the Stargate
to make sure everything on the other world is all right. Of
course, it isn't.
Dr. Daniel Jackson, played by James Spader, is like
Indiana Jones, only he's a linguist instead of an archaeolo-
gist, making him a nerd instead of an action hero.
An audience walks out of his lecture when he claims that
the Egyptians didn't build the pyramids. Naturally, the
military hires him to translate the strange hieroglyphs that
appear on the Stargate. He does an excellent job at looking
scruffy and intellectual. Being the perfect academic, Dr.
Jackson learns a foreign language in less than twenty four
Kurt "I don't work for Disney anymore" Russell plays
Colonel Jack O'Neil, a suicidal military honcho who packs
a nuclear bomb so that nothing evil will get through the
stargate to Earth.
But Russell still acts as unconvincingly as if he were
making a Disney kiddy picture. However, that works well
here because space opera was made for kids and "Stargate"
is the best space opera to come around in years; the acting
doesn't need to be any good.
Consider Jaye Davidson who plays the nasty alien and
occasional Sun-god Ra. He does a good job at looking
androgynous and arrogant but when he has to be nasty and
kill characters, his performance becomes comic. Sp
Opera works best with two dimensional character and stup
What really matters here are the terrific special effects
and gizmos that make the audience say "ooh" and "ahh" and
"didn't that look neat?" While none of the sci-fi trappings
show much in the way of originality, "Stargate" puts enough
of a creative spin on them to provoke some wondrous
You have a lot of fancy technology, such as: an elevator
that works like a transporter beam from Star Trek, a flyt
pyramid, and a rejuvenation chamber that gives dead ch
acters a second chance at life. You have giant horselike
creatures with slimy tongues. You have a desert planet like
Dune and a city of slaves, but instead of Spartacus, the
earthlings have come to free them.
The film spends so much time cracking the stargate code
and then developing the alien world that it ignores important
things like plot. But again, thanks to all the amazingly weird
conventions sprinkled throughout, the audience will not
even realize until late after they've left the theater.
Anyway, the only way to enjoy a good space opera i
you turn off your thinking cap and let the fantastic wori
overwhelm you. "Stargate" does just that.
STARGATE isplaying at Briarwood and Showcase.
The Investment Banking Division
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
cordially invites UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN students
of all majors to apply for the
Two Year Financial Analyst Program
Goldman Sachs' Financial Analyst Program offers exposure to a
broad range of industries and transactions, a high level of
responsibility and client interaction in a collegial work
environment. No other investment bank promotes the same
degree of teamwork that has become one of the
hallmarks of Goldman Sachs' success.
Goldman Sachs is committed to hiring students with outstanding
achievements from all majors, including liberal arts and
engineering, to join the analyst class of 1995.
Please Send Resumes by November 25, 1994 to:
85 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Attention: Jonathan Bilzin/ 19th Floor