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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Stargate SG-1: The Ark of Truth (review)

Oh, hoorah for more Stargate SG-1! No, Ark of Truth, the new direct-to-DVD movie (it’ll be out on March 11), is completely bereft of Richard Dean Anderson, and yes, Ark of Truth is all about wrapping up the Ori storyline that I was never a fan of in the first place. But, you know: it’s more SG-1. I’ll take it.

About a season’s worth of plot gets packed here into 97 action-packed minutes, as SG-1 — Ben Browder’s Cameron Mitchell, Claudia Black’s Vala, Amanda Tapping’s Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge’s Teal’c, and Michael Shanks’ Daniel Jackson — go in search of an Ancient artifact called the Ark of the Covenant, through which God spoke to Moses. No, I mean, the Ark of Truth, through which the Ancients could brainwash folk into understanding that the Ori are not gods. Who are the Ori? There’s a nine-minute prelude on the disc that lets you catch up with the Ori storyline from Seasons Nine and Ten of the show — I know I could never keep straight what the heck was going on, and frankly I’m still not sure I get how the Ori were much different from the Goa’uld, storywise: I really wish the show had gone in a different direction after the Goa’uld were defeated instead of giving us an almost direct Goa’uld substitute.
So here we are, in between the final season of SG-1 and the latest of Stargate Atlantis (where, of course, Sam is now serving as administrator), and the gang is racing around our galaxy and that of the Ori. There’s less humor and less character stuff than I’d like, and there’s an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feeling to how many bad guys get crammed in here — in fact, I suspect that if the writers could have come up with a way to make a kitchen sink sentient and have it run around trying to kill humans, they would have. But, you know: it’s SG-1. It’s DVD, so Cam gets to swear a bit, which makes sense for a military man in a tight spot, and some of the FX look like they spent a helluva lot more money on ‘em than the show ever could before, and they even got out of the great green sections of British Columbia and into the snowy mountainous sections of the province, so that’s nice, too.

The Ori story wraps up by the end, but there’s room for more movies, in case someone gets the urge. But no more of this Sam-kissing-Cam stuff. He’s cute and all, but he’s not Jack. If we can’t have Jack back, Sam can at least pine properly for him.

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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