Directed by Dean Parisot(1999,
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.
November 10th, 2002 on
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
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
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.