Galaxy Quest (1999)
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David Howard, Robert Gordon
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Robin Sachs, Enrico Colantoni, Missi Pyle, Justin Long
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Quest No Longer
Favorite Movie Quote: "DON'T OPEN THAT! IS THERE AIR? YOU DON'T KNOW!"
This is one of my test movies. I've never met anyone (that I can recall) that didn't like it, but if I ever did I'd tag their ear and release them back into the wild to observe what other strange behavior they exhibited. Galaxy Quest succeeds at being a hilarious comedy, a good action movie, an effective drama, and simultaneously a parody mocking Star Trek while also a love letter acknowledging its value.
The crew of the NSCA Protector - Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), Frew Kwan (Tony Shaloub), Tommy Webber (Daryl Mitchell), and Crewman #6 (Sam Rockwell) - courageously serve together, overcoming any odds as they, "never give up, never surrender." The catch is they're actors, and raving egomaniac Nesmith, who plays "Peter, Peter, Peter, Quincy, Quincy, Quincy, Taggert, Taggert, Taggert," the Captain of the Protector (fashioned more than a little on Bill Shatner), is despised by his 'loyal' crew. When the crew is tabbed by "termite" Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni), whose people believe the defunct Galaxy Quest shows - and all television for that matter - are "historical documents", to help resist extermination at the claws of Sarris (Robin Sachs), the crew must become the people and team they always pretended to be.
The two films that jump to mind in this same class would be Ghostbusters and Men In Black, and while Ghostbusters is untouchable, I'd say Galaxy Quest is better than MIB. While on the subject, it's also better than all but the best Trek flick, Wrath of Khan, and stands as a cinematic pimp slap to films like Fanboys - this is how you send a signal-flare of affection, by accentuating what's best while playfully pointing out the ludicrous within the flow of an effective narrative.
I've never been a huge Tim Allen fan, and I remember watching him do stand-up in the late '80's, but he's everything this character calls for. Whether it's turns as a jack-ass, action hero, romantic lead, or tragic, dramatic figure - Allen nails everything not only believeably but well. So well, in fact, I was surprised this didn't lead to any dramatic work for Allen. Everyone else is great too (a young Justin Long cuts his teeth here), each taking turns stealing scenes as this is the quintessential ensemble cast.
Sarris - and his accompanying bad-ass music - is a cool villain that the movie isn't afraid to allow to be the appropriate degree of evil. Just when the crew is sure they can laugh away whatever mistakes they've made, it's Sarris that equates them with consequences. His ultimate defeat is also a creative use of the environment, another nod to its source.
There are all kinds of different reasons that I watch movies, but as I watch Galaxy Quest for the umpteenth time, sometimes it's nice to have several of them encapsulated in one. I believe this is a perfect movie.
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Aug 4, 2010 4:57 PM
|Couldn't agree more. This film is watchable on multiple levels and works well with each. The screenwriter and the casting director deserve some props for this film. I feel odd that you mentioned Tim Allen, but not Allen Rickman, who was brilliant in the role of the tortured thespian. . .|
Aug 4, 2010 10:52 PM
|Being an avid Trekker, i enjoyed all the "in-jokes," though everyone knows much of the backstory on STAR TREK TOS. |
The movie could actually become a series, much like THE THREE AMIGOS or MY NAME IS BRUCE (sorry...), where the actor has to become his character to save the day, albeit reluctantly.
There's not much good sci-fi comedy out there.
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