Stargate: The Ark of Truth is a 102 minute, direct-to-DVD movie, which was released on March 11, 2008 by MGM Studios. The cast includes all of the regular cast members from the Stargate SG-1 television series, including Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges and Michael Shanks. Written and directed by long-time show scribe, Robert C. Cooper, the story is meant to wrap up the Ori plot line, which dominated the last two seasons of the series. It follows the SG-1 team as they try to find "the Ark of Truth," an ancient device they feel is the best chance of defeating the remaining Ori Army.
My family and I have followed all of the Stargate television incarnations ever since SG-1 came to the Sci-Fi Channel from the Showtime network. The long-running series has a very detailed, and sometimes complex backstory. This DVD is definitely geared toward the fans of the show. Those unfamiliar with Seasons 9-10 (or old guys like me, whose brain cells are not what they used to be) should watch the Prelude to Stargate: The Ark of Truth section. It includes all of the information which would usually be introduced with a voice-over saying, "Previously on Stargate SG-1."
Many children, like mine, are big fans of the SG-1, but since this movie was a direct-to-DVD release, it was not rated for content. When parents see the word "Unrated" on a DVD box, eyebrows tend to raise. So the question is, is Stargate: The Ark of Truth safe for kids? See more about content after the jump.
Nudity – None.
Adult Situations – None.
Tobacco/Alcohol Use – None.
Language – Colonel Mitchell uses the S-word once, and calls another character an A-hole. (See also the "Special Features" section below.)
Violence – Most of the action is very much in the same style of sci-fi violence seen on the series. There is much gunfire, including lots of energy weapon blasts, and lot and lots and LOTS of bullets. Plus there are several big explosions thrown in for good measure. An Ori Prior is shown killed with an energy blast, but not gratuitously.
However, there is one fight sequence which is slightly more intense than what was usually shown on television. There is a very long fist-fight sequence between Mitchell and bad-guy Marrick. Mitchell’s face is shown quite bloody during this exchange. Marrick is shocked by electrical wires and is stabbed with a knife. Marrick is taken over by (slight spoiler alert) lets just say, a machine-type entity. He becomes a gruesome looking machine-human hybrid. During the fight sequence, Mitchell is able to briefly disconnect the machine portion from Marrick’s brain. While disconnected, Marrick asks Mitchell to kill him. Later, a machine "skeleton" is seen lurching down a passageway. Very young children may be disconcerted by this sequence.
Special Features – The DVD also includes a commentary track with Robert C. Cooper, Christopher Judge and Peter Woeste. There is footage of the Cast and Producers at San Diego Comic Con, which includes no questionable content or language. It also includes a 30-minute, making-of-the-movie segment, entitled Uncovering the Ark of Truth. At the end of this featurette, Michael Shanks uses the F-word, but it it bleeped-out.
A second direct-to-DVD movie, Stargate: Continuum, is set to be released on July 29, 2008. Watch this space for kid content reviews on this video as well. Stargate: The Ark of Truth is on sale now, and can be purchased online from Amazon.com (just in time for Father’s Day!)