Faded stars trek far to break away from conventions. . . . . . . . .
Galaxy Quest is brilliant. There, I said it. Job done. Review over.
Okay, I guess I should say a little bit more than that. The story here concerns a set of actors who used to star on the TV show called, you guessed it, “Galaxy Quest” and who now make their money from celebrity appearances and conventions. A mix of egos, resentment, insecurities and exasperation, they can barely stand to share the same space. But when real aliens ask for their help and put them at the helm of their very own, very real, spaceship they soon begin to realise the individual skills needed to make the whole team work. Yes, it’s ¡Three Amigos! in space with plenty of sly Star Trek references.
The great thing about Galaxy Quest is that it’s not just for sci-fi fans. Yes, they will get the most fun out of it but this is a movie full of great one-liners, numerous visual gags and a standard “underdog vs baddies” storyline. The sci-fi touches are wonderful but never detract from the heart of the story and characters.
The cast are all perfect and what a cast it is: Tim Allen is on great form as the selfish, egotistical commander, Sigourney Weaver is a lot of fun as the blonde bombshell required to do little more than repeat whatever the computer says, Alan Rickman is hilarious as a serious thespian unable to escape one memorable character (and one particular catchphrase), Daryl Mitchell is great as the older version of a child star, Tony Shalhoub is as good as Tony Shalhoub always is and Sam Rockwell almost steals every scene he’s in as Guy, a crew member unknown to the others who wants to avoid the fate that befell him in episode 81 of the TV show (yep, he was one of those extra guys who seem to serve no other purpose than to be killed). There are also great performances from Missi Pyle, Justin Long (in his first film role) and, well, absolutely everyone who appears on screen, including lesser known names such as Enrico Colantoni, Patrick Breen, Robin Sachs et al.
The other strength the movie has is a script as funny and quotable as Mystery Men (another favourite of mine). There is barely one line here that fails to provide a sly reference, fun character nuance or a good laugh. Congratulations go to David Howard for creating such a great selection of comedy dialogue and it’s all delivered perfectly. Perhaps it’s an unusual way to describe a comedy set mainly in space but I could easily close my eyes and just listen to the words of this movie, the script is THAT good.
Director Dean Parisot may not seem to do anything that spectacular but he certainly has a good feel for the material being referenced and, in places, gently mocked and he recreates facets of that world brilliantly as well as letting us glimpse some believable, yet subtle, alien environments.
Anyway, as I said at the beginning, Galaxy Quest is brilliant. There, I said it. Job done. Review over.
DIRECTOR: DEAN PARISOT.
STARRING: TIM ALLEN, SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ALAN RICKMAN, SAM ROCKWELL, JUSTIN LONG, TONY SHALHOUB.
RUNNING TIME: APPROX 102 MINS.