Galaxy Quest

You kids out there may not remember a little movie called Galaxy Quest, but in 1999 it was kind of a big deal. The movie stars Tim Allen, bear with me, and Sigourney Weaver.

Essentially the movie is about the cast of a long-since-cancelled campy sci-fi show who get wrapped up in saving actual aliens from certain doom. To break the film down even further, it is a very meta parody of the original Star Trek cast, where the writers said, “hey wouldn’t it be funny if Shatner and gang went to space?”

The crew of Galaxy Quest
The crew of Galaxy Quest

The weakest part of the film is probably the story, but it does not ruin it. Truthfully it is campy in the spirt of the source material it is parodying. So the plot comes close to becoming clown shoes but it is charming enough to carry it.

The best part of the film is everyone’s performances as there honestly is not a weak performance through the entire ensemble.

Tim Allen is surprisingly good in the role of an ego-maniacal, ex-leading man. He is the captain of the crew and there are very intentional parallels to him and William Shatner. His journey as a character is pretty fun, especially in the beginning when he is a giant sleaze ball. Eventually he comes down to earth and Allen plays him very appropriately charismatic.

Look at this jerk.
Look at this jerk.

The side characters are very entertaining too with actors like Tony Shalhoub and Sam Rockwell. Shalhoub’s character is very bizarre, as he is not fazed by any of the strange happenings going on. The only thing I can guess is that is character is supposed to be a stoner, but because the movie was rated PG, that part of his character was left on the cutting room floor. Sam Rockwell is very entertaining as he is one of the most meta characters I have ever seen in a film. The entire time he is convinced he is going to die because he played a nameless crew member on the old show, so now he is destined to die on a real adventure.

Alan Rickman is also in this movie. I feel I don’t need to say anymore because Rickman is awesome in everything. The one thing I can add is that he is very much a treat in this movie and is the film’s emotional center.

The RickMAN.
The RickMAN.

All of the aliens in the movie are bizarre but in a very fun way. It is funny how they designed them to be just on the right side of the uncanny valley. All of their movements are not quite right, as they are actually not humanoid but giant squid like creatures. There human façade is just a digital recreation makes them kind of creepy. Look for a young Rainn Wilson in his first film role here as one of the aliens.

These dudes are unsettling.
These dudes are unsettling.

This is a fun movie that doubles as a good family movie, it has stuff for the kids but the parents who watch it won’t be bored. especially if they like Star Trek. What is really cool is that the movie is not mean spirited towards the Trekkie community or the actors that were on the shows. It is very much an affectionate parody towards Star Trek and sci-fi in general.

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