Anyhow, I'm currently in the process of importing my 90 GB iPhoto library, and rebuilding my 300 GB iTunes library, so while I wait, I thought I'd get around to my Ark of Truth review.
There will be spoilers.
I imagine any of you who continue reading will be familiar with the plot, but since Amie has said she reads everything, here ya go, just to get you up to speed:
Millions of years ago, humans evolved past the need for physical bodies. There were two camps: Ancients/Alderans and Ori. The Ancients are generally nice but have a strict policy of non-interference with corporeal beings. The Ori derive energy from corporeal beings' worship and create a religion, Origin, so that more people worship them.
The Ancients knew the Ori were bad, but did not interfere (the whole Rule thing), except for Myrrdin, who we know as Merlin. He created a device that would kill Ori, but never got a chance to use it.
That's where the Stargate folks come in -- they searched for Merlin's weapon, and used it.
All those people who follow Origin? They don't know the Ori are gone, and are bent on domination of the universe. Their philosophy is join us or die. So the Stargate folks are looking for a device called the Ark of Truth which will convince people that the Ori are gone, and will stop the Ori's followers from trying to kill all of them.
Meanwhile, long ago, the Alderans created a race called the Replicators. Think Borg Legos. They look like an erector set, and devour everything. They are Very, Very Bad.
So, SG-1 is looking for the Ark. But a bad guy on the ship plants a Replicator, so that the Replicators will infect the Ori ships. People get tortured, Cameron gets beat up, the ship nearly gets destroyed.
But it's Stargate, so things work out.
What I Liked
- Being a fan of Arthurian legend, I loved the Ori storyline. I liked how it got back to Stargate's origins (though they were using Egyptian legend to begin with). Given that they'd already looked for and found an Ancient device to win the war with, finding the Ark of Truth didn't strain credulity as much as it might have if they hadn't already gone looking for Merlin's weapon.
- I adored Vala's rant at the beginning about opening the box they thought was the Ark of Truth, and especially liked Daniel's exasperated, "Why do I even answer?"
- After arguing with the IOA guy, Cam asks Sam if she's sure she doesn't want "the chair" (that is, to be in command). "Oh, nooooo," she says, then gives his shoulders a squeeze. "Got your back, though." I loved the simultaneous support mixed with the, "No WAY am I subjecting myself to that."
- Teal'c's conversation with Tomin, who had been a commander for the Ori before he realized they were false gods (something Teal'c has intimate understanding of). It was awesome...the way he shared his own experiences without directly saying, "I'm saying this to help you through it." It was a very, very nice moment.
- Morgan Le Fay, despite Daniel's frustration at how little obvious she was doing to help, is made of win. (Except that she looks just like the teacher who had Cat's class before Cat had Cat's class.) The look on her face at the end (Adria -- the only Ori left -- says, "You're no match for me," and Morgan says, with this wicked gleam in her eye, "I am now.")
- Cam's initial report that the first Replicator has...err...replicated, is also hysterical: (note that I'm loosely quoting here) "Sam! This thing's living up to its name...there are definitely more than one." Sam: "How many?" Cam: "A lot!"
- Sam baking Cam macaroons was absolutely awesome. (Hey, I'm a 'shipper. Sorry.) The look on her face as she gives him the bag was great.
- Daniel and Vala's silent communication during the last stand-off with Adria was also cool, as he realizes what the password to the Ark of Truth is, and silently asks her to distract Adria long enough to put it in.
- The whole end sequence, as they go off to their next mission, was great -- between Daniel's resigned acknowledgement that you just have to get used to being blamed for stuff, and Vala's delight that their might be "treasures" to find on the next planet...it rocked.
- The Priors got old. (They are like the Ori's priests, I guess. They walk around with a powerful staff and are in charge of all the ships.) How many times can you hear, "Hallowed are the Ori," before it gets old. Also, the crying Prior at the end...just wasn't convincing. However, Cam and the Prior at the beginning were just too cool.
- Tomin just never...bleh. As I said before, I liked him and Teal'c...I just -- he never seemed that interesting to me. He clearly loves Vala, and she cares for him -- and I give him points for knowing that she doesn't love him back. I dunno...I've just never been a Tomin fan.
- The bit with the Ancients at the beginning? No one talks like that.
- What was with Daniel in the cell? Did Michael Shanks just have a bad acting day or something? I get that he was supposed to be frustrated and near the end of his rope -- nearly broken -- but still.
- I liked that they acknowledged how dangerous the Ark could be, but it's bittersweet because they obviously can't do anything with the idea, with only a couple of direct-to-DVD movies.
- Replicator-IOA-guy beating the bejeezus out of Mitchell. Not that it wasn't important to the story, and not that it wasn't good stunt work, but it just went on to freaking long.
- Speaking of -- when Mitchell was hiding in that little room, and couldn't get back to Sam on the radio...couldn't they hear him anyway? I would imagine Replicators could hear radio waves...so what was the point of freaking her out?
- The Prior at the SGC. That just was...old.
- The footage of Cam getting nearly blown up.
I liked Ark of Truth very much. In fact, it felt like a stronger follow-up than The Peacekeeper Wars was, even though it had more to cover in less time. For one thing, the characters seemed true to the characters on the show. For another, it didn't try to introduce new canon (like the origin of the Peacekeepers) that it wouldn't have enough time to explain and explore.
In fact, my main gripe with it is that it really made me miss Stargate. As I said when it first went off the air, my interest in the show waxed and waned over the years, but it ended on, for me, a very high note that this movie only continued.
Here's hoping the upcoming Continuum will continue in the same vein.