1999; Rated PG; 104 Minutes
Tim Allen: Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Taggart
Sigourney Weaver: Gwen DeMarco/Lt. Tawny Madison
Tony Shalhoub: Fred Kwan/Tech Sergeant Chen
Daryl Mitchell: Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo
Enrico Colantoni: Mathesar
Sam Rockwell: Guy Fleegman
Missi Pyle: Laliari
Produced by Suzann
Ellis, Sona Gourgouris, Mark Johnson and Charles Newirth;
Directed by Dean Parisot; Screenwritten by
Robert Gordon and David Howard
by DAVID KEYES
a television sci-fi program is like peering into the imagination
of 6-year old; in both cases, neither are tangible because
the journeys, and therefore the images in front of them,
tend to be cheesier than most summer blockbusters. They
assault the eyes almost as much as they insult intelligence,
because illogical storylines and ugly visuals (even for
science fiction) leave viewers staring on in utter disbelief.
Would this explain why "Lost In Space" and "Star Trek" are
two of the worst television shows in existence? Possibly.
But the more appropriate evidence lies in projects intended
to poke fun at the lunacy of the broadcasts. Take "Galaxy
Quest" as the first example: this new farce on television
nonsense uses those cheesy media aspects on an intentional
basis, not to any purpose of inducing audience hate, but
to generate satirical responsiveness. It's simple stuff
with an urge to poke fun at a media nemesis. The movie illustrates
almost enough grotesque imagery to back up a court case
against outrageous media programming.
film stars Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen in roles within
other roles. They play two actors of an old, long-ago canceled
television show called "Galaxy Quest," which was a hit in
its day but has now become one of those "Star Trek"-esque
legends in which the only hope of spotting the stars is
by attending one of their conventions. Yes, they've fallen
into that trap that every actor fears: unemployment. Without
the conventions, no one would even realize they were alive.
one day, there is a distress call sent to Earth. An alien
race called the Thermians have been dispatched into a massive
intergalactic war with their nemesis Sarris. Asking for
help, they demand the cast of "Galaxy Quest." But what for,
you ask? It seems the aliens have taken the show too seriously,
and believe that the actors are a real space fleet who can
help them in their time of need. The actors in turn believe
that this entire mission is merely a hoax brought on by
remaining fans of the series; as a result, they cheerfully
reassume their television roles and are sent off into space.
intervenes as the battles, the creatures, and the journey
through space are represented by imagery that would even
make the stars of "Lost In Space" break character. It is
a necessity for television to exaggerate presumptions of
intergalactic visuals, but how often do the exaggerations
reflect those of reality? For the actors within the "Galaxy
Quest" cast, the similarity between the cheese of television
imagery and that of reality is almost nostalgic, and helps
them sabotage the feeling that they are actually on a real
journey filled with perilous dangers. In this regard, the
actors feel like they're back on the sets of their show,
reliving those good ol' days when they weren't skeptical
about employment opportunities.
Dean Parisot is right on target with this script, taking
us through all the television science fiction clichés at
a pace we can easily understand and keep up with. The satirical
edge of his characters help enlighten the mood when some
of the on-screen sights become too overwhelming to handle,
and they offer humorous portrayals of actors who struggle
to find work after the syndication of "Galaxy Quest." Tim
Allen can most identify with his role as the captain aboard
this television epic; in real life, his comedy "Home Improvement"
was canceled earlier this year after an extensive run on
ABC, leaving us to wonder, "will he be the next unemployed
for the source material itself, it's not much better than
the television sci-fi cheese it tries to satirize. The movie
comes just a few months after a similarly-constructed comedy
called "Mystery Men," and by comparison, the earlier is
a much more funny, hard-edged and wacky look at the absurdity
of media fantasy; the latter is only amusing on the surface
level, and fails to be much more than just a mild farce
with smiles and some minor laughs attached. A sense of melodramatic
manipulation provoked in certain scenes, which undermines
most of the comedic plight, doesn't help much either.
don't write off the film just because of a few quibbles;
"Galaxy Quest" is easily a recommendable product. It has
fun with the characters, the dilemmas, the imagery, and
source of inspiration. Without genuine depth, however, the
film will have a hard time reeling in a widespread audience.
1999, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
Please e-mail the author here
if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.