Stargate ★★★½

A archaeologist and linguist is recruited by the military for his work on deciphering hieroglyphics. He unlocks the mystery of what the seven symbols mean as a star map. The military then disclose that this is not a theory, it's a real circular device found in ancient Egypt that they call the Stargate. A group soldiers along with the teacher travel through the gate lead by a military leader (Kurt Russell). On the other side of the galaxy they meet a a race of people worshipping a God and must figure out how to redial the Stargate on the other side to return home.

Kurt Russell has a bit of Snake Plissken (Escape from New York) in his acting role here, but he's a lesser player to the all important teacher (James Spader) who looks a lot like Ray Manzarek from The Doors.

The technology and mystery surrounding the gate is done very well. The movie itself is a bit sluggish paced at times, despite the expansive world possibilities. It is sort of stuck in a world-building mode rather than a very compelling world to visit across the cosmos. This film was the start of a large, storied franchise of Stargate-related TV shows. I was more awe-struck by the Stargate itself with its myriad of travel possibilities than the overall movie, but that alone warrants a recommendation.