Galaxy Quest

SHADOWS MUST SEE MUST-SEE


The final frontier: Our intrepid heroes battle some real aliens (l to r: Weaver, Rickman, Allen, Shalhoub).
dir Dean Parisot
scr David Howard, Robert Gordon
with Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Sam Rockwell, Robin Sachs, Justin Long, Patrick Breen, Missi Pyle, Jed Rees
Dreamworks 99/US 4 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Taking an obvious swipe at the Star Trek universe, Galaxy Quest is a cleverly written spoof-adventure that more than rises to the occasion. Not only are the jokes dead-on, but the story and characters actually work as a decent sci-fi movie, complete with superior special effects, a grisly villain and even a touch of romance.

It's been nearly 20 years since their cheesy sci-fi TV series was cancelled, and now the out-of-work cast is reduced to entertaining "Questerian" conventions. Jason (Allen) is the vain actor who played the heroic, often shirtless captain; serious thesp Alex (Rickman) was the sidekick alien doctor who never got centre stage; Gwen (Weaver) was the communications officer with an increasingly plunging neckline; the clueless Fred (Shalhoub) was the patient and steady engineer; and Guy (Rockwell) was the unnamed officer who died in episode 81 before the first commercial break. Then a group of Thermians--real aliens who think the actors are a real ship's crew--kidnaps them and asks for help to battle the evil Sarris (Sachs).

Surprise: This is easily the best sci-fi film of the past few years, as it actually has real characters, clever situations and a general irreverent attitude that keeps us laughing. The script gleefully twists the cliches of the genre, from make-up to set design to Gene Roddenberry ethos. And the sets, costumes, effects and makeup are absolutely perfect ... not to mention David Newman's brilliant score. The cast is superb--Allen, Rickman and Weaver are especially good, adding layers to their nicely evolving characters. And the film works a minor miracle as it balances admiration for the genre with a refusal to take it remotely seriously; it somehow remains reverential even as it's viciously poking fun. There are even some nice little messages woven subtly into the story. But this isn't rocket science; it's a very funny, supremely entertaining romp. Forget Star Trek X, let's have Galaxy Quest II instead.

[PG--violence, innuendo] 28.Apr.00
US release 24.Dec.99; UK release 28.Apr.00

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READER REVIEWS

the show was cancelled, the adventure has only just begun "We loved it. It was very entertaining, and I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I found myself totally believing in the characters, and I always appreciate it when you see characters grow and develop during a movie, which they did here. I felt that the performances were great and I like all of the actors involved (Allen, Weaver, Rickman, Shalhoub), and especially liked Mathazar, the principal Thermian character - he was so unusual, yet so likeable. And Guy Freegman did indeed add comic relief. The plot held together well in my eyes, and I enjoyed how they even incorporated some earthling geeks to help save the day. In some ways, it is tough to describe the movie because there is so much attention to detail. The script is well-written, the special effects are interesting, the characters are very engaging.... If you're looking for something fun, this is a pretty sure bet (I guess it is unless you absolutely loathe anything that makes you think of Star Trek - even then, you still might enjoy it)." --Kathy M, Los Angeles.

"I highly recommend it. It's like your favorite ride at Disney; the moment it ends, you want to get right back in line and experience it all over again. I don't think I've ever heard my husband laugh so hard. Lots of fun, and surprisingly satisfying. Great for all Trekkies, Star Wars fanatics, and those who love them!" --Nina W, Minneapolis.

"Loved it! It just kept us laughing the entire time. Probably helps that we are Star Trek fans too ... we got some of the more subtle humor." --Karen G, Los Angeles.

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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