A Fanboy Dream.
Galaxy Quest (1999): 9 out of 10: Actors from a long-canceled cult television show. (Think Star Trek) are hired by an alien species under dire threat who are unaware that the TV Show was not real life while the actors hired are unaware that the aliens themselves are real.
The Good: This movie honestly gets extra brownie points for not screwing up a great premise. They get so much right from an excellent score to the often very good special effects, but the real heroes are whoever wrote this thing and cast this thing.
This is as near perfect a cast for a comedy as you will ever see. For one thing, there is a delightful lack of comedians. Now technically Tim Allen is a comedian. A staple of sitcoms over three decades, his stand-up is available on Amazon Prime sandwiched between Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison. The rest of the main cast Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and Sam Rockwell are not primarily known for their comedy chops. They are hilarious in their roles. My personal favorite of the bunch was Tony Shalhoub as the obviously stoned Scotty type, but you are welcome to pick your own.
Galaxy Quest is obviously a parody of Star Trek and a loving homage of Star Trek. It is also a gentle parody of Trekkies and their conventions and how they drag these poor Octogenarians on stage to tell the same behind-the-scenes story and spout the same catchphrase for a show that is fifty years old. The movie is never mean about it and keeps that delicate balance throughout the entire film.
The Bad: Let me get meta here for a minute. Tim Allen does not get enough credit for his performance in Galaxy Quest. More to the point, Alan Rickman gets to much credit for his performance. The way this parallels William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy right down to the latter in both cases being deceased is downright eerie. Think of Tim Allen’s reputation outside of this movie and then think of Alan Rickman’s. Now think of Bill and Leonard’s. Exactly. I am getting goosebumps here.
The Ugly: Gilligan’s Island is a 98 part found footage film. Discuss.
In Conclusion: For some reason, movie executives edited all the swear words out of this film and marketed it directly for kids. I guess when something has a pleasant non-sarcastic tone it is automatically for children. Fortunately, over the years, it has found its audience. And while some blame it for such crimes against humanity as starting Justin Long’s career or being better than the actual Star Trek movies that were coming out at the same time I think this has a good place in many hearts. It is also that perfect half watch on a Saturday afternoon movie.
In my fantasy, the original cast of Star Trek made this themselves instead of Star Trek V in the mid-eighties. But alas, it’s just a fanboy dream. Yeah… that would have been cool.