Stargate SG-1: Continuum does it good

(This review contains spoilers. Go watch the movie first. Seriously!)

Jack: "Get rid of the last bad guy, and then there's cake."

I love Stargate, and I love a good time travel story. This was a terrific Stargate time travel story, fun and exciting from beginning to end. They thought big, they included characters and storylines from the entire series, the writing was tight, the acting on target -- there were no wasted scenes, no dull moments. We even had a literal time travel grandfather paradox. Good times.

I particularly loved the way they wove in Jack O'Neill, Vala, Teal'c, both generals, the president, and many of our old friends from Cheyenne Mountain. They even brought back the system lords, which was tremendous fun, and centered the story around Ba'al, who was always my favorite. I've always wanted to see Vala as Qetesh, and I loved that they made her the big, unexpected villain. Ba'al's intricate multi-generation plan, so clever and well thought out, completely quashed in a moment by Qetesh. She was really, really evil. More evil than Ba'al.

It was great to see all six members of the past and present team together at the extraction ceremony -- especially Jack, who was his usual self. ("Hey. Have you ever tried to find a bathroom in a pyramid?") We also saw nearly all of them die, which was surprisingly painful considering that we knew all along that it was a time travel story and everyone would almost certainly be back. I particularly felt for Sam, whose grief for Jack affected her to the point where she almost couldn't function.

One of my favorite moments was Daniel finding a book written by his alternate self in the bargain bin. (Loved the crackpot photo of Daniel on the book jacket.) And Daniel calling his other self on the phone and trying to get him to have faith in himself. In fact, Daniel's story was, with the possible exception of Cam's, the best in this movie. His stoicism and acceptance when he faced death, and when he lost his leg. His extremely dry humor. Daniel got nearly all the best lines in this movie. My favorites were his plaintive "Oh, shit" when he realized he was probably going to freeze to death alone, and when the president asked what he should tell Ba'al, and Daniel said it was probably best "not to mention us."

Most of the effects were excellent, some of the best in the series. Yes, the sinking ship didn't quite hold up, but I particularly liked the ships in formation attacking Earth, and the scenes in Ba'al's time travel stronghold. And the costumes and sets were all terrific. It made me wish that they'd all looked like that throughout the series.

It's a shame that it was only just over an hour and a half long. I wish we'd gotten more. There were two things in particular that I would have loved to see. How did Cam spend those ten years alone, waiting for his moment? I suppose we didn't need to see them; we can imagine them. And what did he do afterward? Did he just live out his life quietly in the corrected timeline, doing his best not to make timewaves? I think I would have felt better if he had just vanished when the timeline corrected. Although that would have left the photograph unaltered.

The other scene I would have loved to see was Vala talking with Ba'al's human host after the extraction. What was the poor guy like? Although he may not have been around long after centuries of possession, which was probably a good thing to skip right over.

The commentary mentioned that there could be more Stargate movies in the future, and I am definitely a captive audience. But "Continuum" felt like a final chapter to me. It brought the Goa'uld story to a satisfying end, incorporated numerous continuing characters from the ten-year run of the series, and just felt like a perfect place to stop, a fitting end to a very long story.

I just loved it. Can you tell?

Four out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

1 comment:

JOHN said...

Greatly enjoyed Stargate and liked Stargate Atlantis even more.
Certainly the SYFY channel's most successful project.
I had hoped that it might spin-off movies much the way Star Trek did.

SYFY's subsequent attempts to create new SciFi series, including Stargate Universe, suffer from a defect I see in almost all TV shows.
That is characters w/ deep Psychological problems. People you would not want to hang-with in your own life. The success of Star Trek, Stargate and, hell - even Friends, is in their characters.
I remember my daughters running home Tuesday nights to see what their "friends" were up to. Much as I did on Friday night to see what my 'friends' in Cheyenne Mountain were up to.

OH, WELL