I recently re-watched this classic and thoroughly re-enjoyed the ride.
The premise is simple and fun (an interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra), and while it’s very 90s in its overall execution–simple, predictable plot mechanics; stereotypical characters and arcs; a one-dimensional villain; and so forth–this movie has heart in an Indiana Jones type of way.
The production values and overall attention to detail were ahead of its time, and let’s face it: the idea of a Stargate that can warp us across the universe is just plain cool, which is why this moviegave rise to an entire “universe” of spin-offs.
The opening pays homage to the controversy surrounding Cheops as the builder of the Great Pyramid and the movie quickly gets down to business quickly, builds nicely toward the “shit’s about to go down” middle area, and delivers an emotionally satisfying climax and resolution. James Spader and Mili Avatal give endearing performances, and Jay Davidson plays a downright creepy extraterrestrial god Ra.
If you want to just chill out and indulge in some lighthearted “what if?” storytelling, you’ll enjoy Stargate.