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Awesome: 26.76%
Worth A Look59.86%
Just Average: 9.86%
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7 reviews, 100 user ratings

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Galaxy Quest
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by EricDSnider

"Sublime parody of TV sci-fi -- and, especially, its fans."
4 stars

With dry, understated wit and an attitude that is giddy without being sophomoric, "Galaxy Quest" succeeds in being one of the more enjoyable comedies of the season.

In the film, "Galaxy Quest" was a popular TV show 20 years ago that is still enjoyed, analyzed and obsessed over by millions of devoted "Questerions" today. The stars of the show have been unsuccessful in finding legitimate work since then, and to one degree or another, they all resent being stuck in the roles and having to appear at conventions, where the nerdy fans treat them like their characters actually exist.

That is, except for Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), who played the starship's captain, Commander Peter Quincy Taggart. Being the captain, he's most popular at the conventions, and he eats up every moment of spotlight time he has -- which just adds to the growing resentment of his co-stars.

At one particular convention, a group of human-like aliens approach "Commander Taggart" and tell him they need his help in fighting a group of bad-guy aliens who want to kill them. It is one of the film's best jokes that these friendly aliens look and act just like obsessive fans of the show -- which is why Nesmith casually dismisses them at first as just another bunch of geeks.

In a way, they ARE the show's biggest fans. They've seen every episode and they've built their own ship patterned after the one on TV (except that all the functions actually work, rather than just being props and plywood). The difference is, they don't realize it's just a show. Their society has no concept of "fiction" (or even lying or acting), and they refer to the episodes as "historical documents." (In fact, they think of ALL Earth TV shows that way: "You don't think 'Gilligan's Island'...?" says one crew member incredulously; "Oh, those poor people," whispers one of the aliens with great solemnity.)

Thus, Capt. Taggart and his crew are called upon to actually live the roles they played on TV years ago, and save this race from doom. It's the same plot as "Three Amigos" and "A Bug's Life," and it worked there, and it works here.

The film is not, as it appears, just a parody of "Star Trek" and that show's legendarily geeky fans. There is some of that kind of humor, but the filmmakers wisely realized that making fun of Trekkies is not particularly funny anymore, since it's been done so much (and since those folks are so odd, they practically make fun of themselves).

Still, "Star Trek" is the obvious parallel, and there is some marvelous humor in presenting characters who perform the functions of Enterprise crew members, yet who act in ways we're not accustomed to. Tony Shalhoub is a stitch as the Scotty character, Tech Sergeant Chen, who delivers his lines in a slightly enthusiastic Bob Newhart style. ("The ship's boosters suffered major damage, Captain, you know, just, F.Y.I.")

Even better is Alan Rickman as the Spock character, Dr. Lazarus. It is he who most resents being typecast, having always wanted to be a true thespian, and his eye-rolling reaction to all the inanity around him is priceless, especially when he is called upon again and again to say his famous TV catchphrase.

Sigourney Weaver is the ship's female member, Lt. Tawny Madison, basically a useless blonde who just repeats what the computer says. Her real-life persona, though, is more intelligent, and it's fun to see Weaver in a different kind of alien-fighter role.

Sam Rockwell rounds out the cast as a man who was once an extra on "Galaxy Quest," who was quickly killed. He shows up at the convention in costume and winds up aboard the aliens' starship -- yet no one, including himself, knows his character name (they just call him "Guy," and they keep assuming he'll be the first to be killed: "We'd better get out of here, before something kills Guy," says Tawny).

Tim Allen, it must be said, is no William Shatner (boy, I never thought I'd say anyone was "no William Shatner"). Allen is a lightweight, a standup comedian who had a successful sit-com; he's no major comedy talent, and certainly not in the league of some of his co-stars here, who clearly outshine him. Nonetheless, his bombast and egotism are amusing, and he is surrounded by a fine supporting cast, including the aliens, who are a race of endearingly naive, giggly folks.

What works best here is the understated nature of the humor. So many comedies lately are cloying, mugging, "aren't we funny?!" shows that whack you in the head with lame jokes or assault your senses with crudity. "Galaxy Quest" is surprisingly clean, and the actors (except for Allen and Darryl Mitchell, who plays the ship's navigator, both of whom are often over-the-top) tends to play it straight, letting the movie's natural humor speak for itself.

The film gets a little too serious in the middle, when the crew members must explain to their alien pals that their show was fictional and that they have no idea what they're doing, but it picks up again after that with a hilarious save-the-ship sequence in which the day is saved by -- who would know the layout of the ship better? -- one of the obsessive fans.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1779&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/04/03 00:21:28
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User Comments

12/16/18 Ajpwales Better than new star trek. 4 stars
3/22/18 Suzanne I've enjoyed this movie movie times than I care to admit. 4 stars
4/01/16 David Hollingsworth Engaging and funny 5 stars
11/01/14 dr.lao This movie is really fun to watch 5 stars
10/28/13 Sissy Gifford Had me laughing the whole time. Definitely worth watching. 4 stars
1/18/12 Marc DC Excellent Space/Sci-Fi comedy... 5 stars
8/11/11 Bobster Funny! 4 stars
6/08/10 Harvey Scott Fun, Fun, Fun. Space Balls for the 21st Century. 5 stars
12/18/09 Jeff Wilder Quite funny. The one worthwhile Tim Allen movie. 4 stars
11/21/09 kitfo1 I didnt think I could like anything with Tim Allen, but this was clever 4 stars
2/06/09 Gella Wicked. I watch it over and over and I alsways find other bits to laugh at 5 stars
7/27/08 The Dork Knight Funny and (sometimes) moving. Good movie 4 stars
2/05/08 mb Really Dumb 1 stars
8/15/07 mike g Brilliant. Made me laugh out very loud. A good, fun film for sci-fi fans. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Perfect, faithful parody. Fantastic in this or any galaxy. 4 stars
1/02/07 del I was surprised at how much I liked it. 4 stars
5/25/06 Kimberly Dull This movie is hilarous! But you do have to have an idea of this genre to get this movie. 5 stars
5/08/06 Anastasia Bishop Absolutely hilarious. One of my favorites. A little slow at first, but stellar as it goes 5 stars
3/02/06 Anthony Feor Tim Allens best movie! 4 stars
12/29/05 paolo enea after all the crap of star wars, etc., I realy enjoyed this movie 5 stars
12/29/05 tony If star wars and star trek were like this movie, i think i would watch them 4 stars
11/02/05 Phil M. Aficionado As a non-sci fi guy, I STILL enjoyed the humor & casting; cute story. See it for yuks. 4 stars
8/26/05 ES Tim Allen's best movie, good for a giggle everytime 4 stars
7/26/05 Indrid Cold Nifty idea and well done. Quite a ways from a classic though. 4 stars
5/01/05 sbpat21 very funny 4 stars
9/23/04 Aaron Smith Hugely entertaining, one of Tim's better films. 4 stars
7/11/04 X Thank God William Shatner wasn't in this movie 5 stars
2/09/04 White Eagle I renjoyed the film as it had so many of the needed cliches in it to make it funny. 5 stars
6/30/03 Ken Holds up well to repeated viewings. Funny and well acted! 4 stars
4/22/03 Mystique good 4 stars
4/15/03 Andrew Carden Good Special Effects, but Uneven Screenplay and Forced Performances. 3 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon Pants-pissing jokes, good story, fun characters. Surprisingly, a really good flick. 5 stars
2/10/03 Ubu the Ripper This movie has everything. Even Allen couldn't ruin it. Worth a sequel. 5 stars
2/07/03 y2mckay George, fuck you very much for reading! Nice to have fans. 4 stars
1/05/03 George Overall a good movie, but Y2McKay - you're an idiot. 4 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby As desperately unfunny as its leading man. Dreadful. 1 stars
11/08/02 R.W. Welch Nifty premise and some clever bits but generally overdone. 3 stars
6/18/02 Charles Tatum Great idea, no laughs 3 stars
5/21/02 Anne R. Key OK, but Improv King, I prefer leaving fuck ups heavy. 3 stars
2/24/02 Butterbean This movie is so cute! Show this to the kids 4 stars
2/19/02 Bertha Venation The sky is falling, I love a Tim Allen movie! I LOVE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
1/25/02 murat Full of witty humor,dazzling action and mathesar! even more ;watch it. 5 stars
12/20/01 Andrew Carden Unfunny and Boring, but May Appeal To Fans Of Corny, Stupid Humor. 2 stars
11/25/01 Smoogles Clever flick, if you like Star Trek, you'll like this 4 stars
8/05/01 badfish This is one of the greatest movies ive ever seen.The whole cast was perfect! 5 stars
8/01/01 KC Au I hate Tim Allen! I laughed only ONCE through the whole film! Cheap parody of "Star Trek" 1 stars
5/11/01 The Moorhen I thought it was going to be utter shit, but it proved me wrong. 5 stars
4/10/01 Hawkeye The best sci-fi parody I've seen yet. If you're a Trekker, this is right up your alley. 5 stars
2/24/01 Jake What a treat! 5 stars
12/19/00 Elvisfan about 700 times better than i had expected it to be 4 stars
11/24/00 Shawna really really love it 5 stars
11/01/00 viking light years ahead of "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager" !!! 4 stars
10/16/00 Jed Though it is not strictly for eggheads & such. It was a spaceballs for the intellectual. 4 stars
8/01/00 Delusia Very, very funny 5 stars
7/29/00 Digitalus Star Trek on ludes 4 stars
6/07/00 Monday Morning Sci-Fi on rye. Very funny 4 stars
5/25/00 Gremlin Star Trek SUCKS! This movie was good for making fun of it. 4 stars
5/20/00 Blackbird Combines Pretend-TV-Cheesyness and CG Reality well. Kept me laughing throughout the movie 5 stars
5/18/00 ntwrage this movie was outstanding, Tony Shalhoub is strait up comedy. 5 stars
5/12/00 Add A very funny film but a real gut buster if you like Star Trek at all. 4 stars
5/07/00 Jed Despite the storyline this is basically the "Spaceballs" of the 90s. 4 stars
5/06/00 The Bomb 69 great entertainment, very funny 5 stars
5/04/00 Matthew Bartley Yeah it's fairly funny. A bit sad at times as well 4 stars
5/02/00 TIGGER It was fabulous! Best movie eva! 1 stars
4/28/00 Pansy fun movie, great aliens and spaceships execpt Tim Allen's acting (ugh) 4 stars
4/28/00 G2 Loved it, funniest film i've seen!! 2 thumbs up! 5 stars
4/15/00 Frank Curigliano hilarious, moving 4 stars
4/15/00 Paul Great 4 stars
4/11/00 Pierce Lanson Very funny, Sigourney's gorgeous, effects are brilliant. 4 stars
4/07/00 Mic Successfully, though stereotypically, combined humour with sentiment. 4 stars
4/06/00 Daria Very funny, and surprisingly affectionate 5 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers Huge imrovement over the Santa Clause. Very, very funny. 4 stars
3/08/00 David Rogers Finally someone had the guts to make fun of Star Trek. 4 stars
2/21/00 bullit17 Eh. It had its moments. Nothing special. 3 stars
2/07/00 Porkdog Great satire. I was very pleasantly suprised. 4 stars
2/06/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" hilarious! great cast that keeps you laughing the entire time! 5 stars
2/01/00 mr. coffee Great spoofs! 4 stars
1/30/00 Crewman #5 Lots o' laughs, great adventures, and a wonderfully underrated cast 5 stars
1/24/00 Cibeus I'm going to see this movie again. 5 stars
1/24/00 Suzanne I loved this movie. 5 stars
1/17/00 Carl Take your 10+ kids to it, but don't expect great movie making. 4 stars
1/15/00 Zatoichi Trek dorks will love it. 4 stars
1/12/00 voyant The funniest movie of the year.. a must see for even the occasional Trek viewer. 5 stars
1/10/00 Ryan Philippe gets hit by a car and it rules!!! The one about the snowman that killed people was better 3 stars
1/09/00 Linda Much better than anticipated! 5 stars
1/06/00 Jo Hilarious! I was laughing the whole time! 4 stars
1/06/00 PhilmPhreak Very funny - the best special effect was Sigourney Weaver's cleavage! 4 stars
1/05/00 meg Wonderfully silly and good-hearted. 4 stars
1/04/00 ScottA2001 Great story but flat acting made it less funny than it should have been 4 stars
1/03/00 Richard Hendricks Funny as hell. Great for an ex-Trekkie, now B5'er 4 stars
1/02/00 Pope Gonzo XIII hell yeah you should see it! It's funny and will strike a chord with other actors. 4 stars
1/01/00 Adam Really funny. And someone convice Sigourney to take these kinds of roles more often. 4 stars
12/31/99 Lame-Oh Not your typical sci-fi flick, but some of the jokes can be irritating. 3 stars
12/31/99 sophia866 Go see Trekkies before this, but Weaver's bosom is worth a matinee. 4 stars
12/30/99 marmoset Good fun, consistently funny. 4 stars
12/29/99 Crystal Great Fun! Silly but not Stupid! 4 stars
12/27/99 RadarDan The audience I saw it with laughed uproariously. 4 stars
12/27/99 joechip I laughed the whole time 4 stars
12/26/99 Magyarpoet Good for a few laughs. 4 stars
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