Galaxy Quest

Posted: September 24, 2018 in Movies
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Galaxy Quest, released in 1999, is a great film. The flick is directed by Dean Parisot and follows a group of washed up actors who were a part of a Star Trek like television series called…Galaxy Quest!

That show’s glory days are now over and the actors make their living appearing at fan conventions across the country. A odd group of fans, cosplaying as aliens, seek out the cast to help them with an intergalactic issue. It turns out these fans are real aliens and are under the impression the old Galaxy Quest episodes are historical documents! The resulting movie is a hoot from start to finish. The cast of the show are beamed up to the far reaches of space and must become their TV counterparts in order to save a species which faces extinction.

The film is a clear take on the original Star Trek, its stars and the fan culture that came with that over the years. Galaxy Quest smartly toes the line between highlighting how that whole culture can be a bit over the top but it can be touching and heart-warming also. For as much as Galaxy Quest lampoons the idea of fandom and pop culture it celebrates it just as much. The story is masterful. It takes conventions from those old shows – the expendable crew member, the badly written female roles and the ego driven ‘star’ – and subverts them. It’s a neat trick the film employs many times but one that never feels redundant.

The MVP of the film is Sigourney Weaver. Her character, Gwen De Marco, was the blonde bombshell of the series. Weaver is best known for her roles in the Alien movies and is no stranger to science fiction or horror. It is great seeing her take on a role which highlights how female characters are/were treated in the type of show her character starred. Tim Allen and the great Alan Rickman give Weaver a run for her money. Rickman’s ‘Spock’ like character/thespian of the theatre role is a riot. Allen, meanwhile, looks like he is having a great time sending up the Captain Kirk like archtype leading his crew both on and off screen. Missi Pyle puts on a great show as one of the aliens and there’s strong support from the rest of the cast.

Special effects wizard Stan Winston and his crew deliver some excellent practical effects work. The alien make up is as great as you would come to expect from Winston and his crew. There’s some decent, if dated, CGI work put to solid use on the more elaborate alien/special effects but overall the work in that department is that preferred mix of practical and CGI. The action is fun, the jokes come and don’t let up and the overall vibe is one of playful fun throughout the film. One ‘accident’ involving a trasporter beam is a scene once saw will never be forgotten!

Over time there were rumors that a sequel to Galaxy Quest was in the works. I do not know how valid they were but as we now see, almost twenty years later, no sequel came. The film proved a hit with its target audience and critics. It is a shame we did not get another adventure with this likeable bunch of characters to see what other crazy situations they may have gotten into somewhere out in space. Galaxy Quest is a well liked film though and rightly so. As a science fiction comedy it still plays great today, more so in fact then it did upon its release and that is due to the explosion of fan culture in the last few years. For a generation growing up in a culture defined by the likes of Comic Con and fandom the film carries more weight. Most important, as legit sci-fi fun, the film soars

 

Comments
  1. Drew says:

    I thoroughly love this film! And for many of the reasons you mentioned. It’s a love letter to what it means to be part of a fandom. It makes fun of them but at the same time celebrates them. The line is very fine but this movie walks it masterfully. Plus the cast is great so this was bound to be a good film regardless. Great review!

    Like

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