Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Galaxy Quest

directed by Dean Parisot

Galaxy Quest poster  
Space isn't looking as glamorous and exotic as it once did for the crew of the NSEA Protector. The Galaxy Quest TV show has long since been cancelled, and its fading stars face a future of fan conventions and superstore openings with the enthusiasm of people who've been asked to swallow an arsenic sandwich. Only Commander Taggart/ Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) looks forward to his role any more.

A group of people turn up to one convention, and they look even stranger than any of the other be-costumed attendees. Calling themselves Thermians, they ask Nesmith for help and take him up to their ship. Their race is facing annihilation by another species of aliens. The Thermians believe the Galaxy Quest episodes were historical documents, and they've built a spaceship, and an entire society, based on that misunderstanding. Nesmith can't wait to get the rest of the jaded crew members involved, although they suspect he's lost his mind. Soon the actors are up to their necks in a real space adventure that their TV careers haven't prepared them for.

Galaxy Quest sends up fandom, thespians, and Star Trek-style science fiction brilliantly. Alan Rickman is outstanding as Alex, the bitter classical actor who resents his part as Dr. Lazarus and the cheesy catchphrase he has to repeat. Guy Fleegman (Sam Rockwell) isn't a regular cast member, but he comes along for the ride. But as Crewman Number 6 he soon realises he's the expendable one with no name, and he's terrified that he'll get killed off early on, because that's the way it always happened in the scripts. There are plenty of laughs as the actors ad-lib their way through this new challenge. They face weird, wonderful and gruesome aliens, sticky situations, and bizarre technologies. The ship's design sends up some of the more outlandish excesses of space TV. The film pokes fun at all the customs and clichés of the genre, from the baffling technobabble to the stereotyping of women as eye candy with no real job to do.

The cast is strong, and the visual effects slick. Yet the real star of this show is Robert Gordon and David Howard's script, which delivers a torrent of belly laughs that never lets up, even whilst it makes us care about the innocent Thermians and their crazy ideas, and about the washed-up actors who try to save them. The humour is accessible to a wide audience of newcomers and serious genre fans alike. It's bonkers and terrific.

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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5 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson