Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping. Taking its lead from the hit series Stargate SG-1, the Stargate team tries to save mankind from the impending Ori attack by finding the ancient artifact that can defeat them in The Ark of Truth (97 min.). In Continuum (99 min.), the SG-1 team races back to Earth only to discover that an alien has altered the timeline and Stargate hasn’t even been invented yet! 2 Discs. 2008/color/NR.
Stargate – The Ark of Truth
Fans disappointed by the demise of the Stargate SG-1 television series after ten fruitful seasons will delight in The Ark of Truth, the first full-length movie to follow in the show’s wake. In fact, some will be more than pleased–they’ll be relieved. For not only does the 102-minute film offer an opportunity to enjoy the same likable characters, reliable effects work, superior writing, and other elements that made the series so appealing, but after season upon season in which viewers were left wondering how everything turned out, The Ark finally brings at least one cliffhanger to a conclusion: the storyline involving the villains known as the Ori, who dominated SG-1’s final two years. Our heroes (including Ben Browder as fearless leader Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, Amanda Tapping as the intrepid Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge as the implacable alien Teal’c, Michael Shanks as the ever-resourceful Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Claudia Black as the irreverent Vala) have long known that the Ori are perhaps the most irresistible force they’ve ever encountered, in part because they are “ascended” beings who don’t exist in recognizable physical form (their spaceships do, and they’re huge). But now the team faces an even greater threat: the Ori have set their sights on good ol’ Planet Earth. That’s where the Ark comes in; if the good guys can just get their hands on it, they hope this ancient artifact will effectively put the big, bad Ori, their minions, and their entire religion (known as “Origin”) out of business. Of course, it ain’t easy. Both collectively and individually, the team will be severely tested, their task complicated not only by the Ori but by an arrogant, clueless government official whose meddling results in the return of the metallic, insect-like Replicators. There’s little doubt about how it will all turn out–after all, there’s at least one more movie already in the pipeline–but it’s all about the ride, and despite a few flaws (as was sometimes the case with the series, the script leans a bit too hard on exposition and technobabble), this one is lots of fun. Bonus features include commentary by writer-director Robert Cooper and others, a lengthy “making of,” and a helpful “prelude” to bring the uninitiated up to speed. –Sam Graham
Stills from Stargate – The Ark of Truth (Click for larger image)
Stills from Stargate: Continuum (Click for larger image)