Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index

GALAXY QUEST

Directed by Dean Parisot(1999, Dreamworks)
Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman

A group of actors from a cancelled TV show are mistaken for a real spaceship crew by aliens who want their help.

 

 

2 stars

November 10th, 2002 on TV  
    This film took a long time to get going, but it was funny, its characters stayed consistent, and it had great special effects.

From the very beginning, I found this film to be dull. It had its moments, poking fun at the fans of SF movies and shows, but overall, it was boring. It wasn't until the entire crew of the Galaxy Quest ship was aboard the alien vessel that things got interesting, seeing how they dealt with crises.

I am not sure Tim Allen was the person to put in the lead here. He makes for a decent ego-inflated star of a TV series, but I didn't think he had the right timing for most of the role.

To be sure, I enjoyed the smiling aliens, seeing them as aliens right away, as I'm sure Jason Nesmith found them strange even for devoted fans. Their comedy, for the most part, was physical, from the way they walked, to expressing their deep honor at his backside, to the tentacles that the female showed when kissing Fred.

The spoofs of the fans didn't work so well for me, and I'm not sure why. I have never been to a convention, so it wasn't as if I felt insulted. I know there are devoted fans of TV shows (Trek in particular), who show up in costume, and perhaps don't quite realize in their subconscious that it is really just a fictional show. To somebody like Jason, who had immersed himself in that culture, the jibe in the bathroom must have really stung. No wonder he gets depressed.

But just at that moment, the aliens appear, and take him to their spacecraft. They don't explain anything, and Jason thinks this is a fan group that wants to perform with him. It is only after everything is done that he realizes he has actually been in outer space!

Once he brings the crew to the "job", things picked up. The aliens had perfect reactions to the Gilligan's Island question ("those poor people"), having no idea what fiction is. They think that the adventures of the crew of Galaxy Quest were shown as a historical record, and designed their society around the show!

The special effects were really cool here. I liked the way the aliens actually looked like aliens, from the good guys (without their conversion devices) to the really alien bad guys. But more than that, the spaceships were cool, and I loved the starport, which looks like it was the remains of their planet. "We are all that are left" says Mathesar, but he must mean the crew of the ship and the port, for there were a lot of people watching them depart.

Another character that I couldn't get into was Dr. Lazarus, played by Alan Rickman. I kept seeing the Sheriff of Nottingham in his place, and couldn't believe in his crisis of personality.

The minor characters, though they didn't have as much to do, were more interesting. Tommy really got into his role after a while; I'm just surprised that he took so long -didn't play video games?

I loved the character of Gwen, Sigourney Weaver. Her "assets" in the TV show were the only things that people recognized about her, and she followed this perfectly through the movie. She starts out in her jumpsuit all trim at the beginning. But by the time she's been on the planet's surface, through a few explosions, and finally to the reactor core, her breasts are falling out of her uniform, and she doesn't even try to tuck them back in, even when she arrives back on Earth. It's as if it's part of her job! I have to admit that she has really nice cleavage...

Gwen also got some of the best lines, such as pointing out that the boomers and bangers to get to the core don't make sense, and that it was a poorly written episode that introduced them! She also points out that any time they want to get somewhere important, they have to go through ducts! She gets to glare at everyone while reminding them that she had a single job on the TV show -repeating commands and the computer, something that really wasn't required!

I could have done without the adventure on the planet, especially the whining "extra", worried that he's going to die. And I wondered what those creatures were doing with a belyrium sphere, when the one designed for the ship was based on a fictional power source -do the other aliens use them, too?

The scenes where the fan base joins in on their quest, helping them get to the core to shut it down (with a single push of a button!) was really neat, including the interruption of putting the garbage out, and the look on the mother's face when he was leaving with firecrackers ("okay, but dinner's at seven" -she's used to dealing with her son's obsession!).

Finally, Sarris coming back to life at the end, just in time for their crash-entrance into the convention, would have been a spectacular way for them to lead in to something like that. The idea of the Omega-13, taking Jason back 13 seconds, to fix a mistake and kill (almost) Sarris, was also a cool concept.

While the beginning of the movie was quite slow, it was still an effective spoof of all things in visual science fiction, especially Star Trek, from the fans and the actors, who never seem to get a job after the show ends. The second half really picks up, in both the action, interest, and the comedy.
 
   

Back to Top

All reviews and page designs at this site Copyright (c)  by Warren Dunn, all rights reserved.