Friday, April 21, 2017

Sci Fi Top 100, #34: "Galaxy Quest" (1999)

Movie Stats:
Released 1999 (Canada)
American, in English (some translated made-up alien languages)
Director - Dean Parisot
Stars - Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and many others

Plot Summary:
The washed-up actors of a Star Trek-like TV show are unwittingly pulled into an adventure by real-life aliens who believe that their show was a documentary. Allen stars as Jason Nesmith; Weaver as Gwen Demarco; Rickman as Alexander Dane; Shalhoub as Fred Kwan; and Rockwell as Guy Fleegman.

Violence; gore; very minor blue language.

Bad Stuff:
There are some logical inconsistencies. [SPOILER-y] For example, the Thermians based all of their tech on a fictional TV show, so how is it that beryllium spheres actually exist? I looked it up, thinking that beryllium is fictional. Turns out it’s real but it’s rare and doesn’t seem to exist in easily mine-able spheres. [SPOILER]

I could see how this wouldn't be nearly as amusing if one isn’t familiar with Star Trek.

Good Stuff:
It’s hilarious. The scenario itself is funny. The characters’ reactions are also amusing. The best part by far, however, is the dialogue. I quote this movie all the time. It has so many great one-liners.

The acting is top-notch. It’s so top-notch that it’s difficult to single anyone out. Every time I think I have my favorites narrowed down, I remember someone else who shines. But here goes: Rockwell, who cracks me up in pretty much every scene; Shalhoub, whose laid-back reactions kill me; and Enrico Colantoni, as Thermian leader Mathesar, whose awkward laugh alone brightens the movie. Shoutout to Alan Rickman for being Alan Rickman. Also, it’s fun to see Weaver, who usually plays a bad-ass bitch in sci fi, playing a blonde bombshell who seems to lack a purpose outside of looking pretty.

It just makes you feel good.

The Verdict:
Years ago, on an unexpectedly beautiful late winter/early spring day, I played hooky from work with my then-new boyfriend (we would go on to be together for five years and remain good friends even now). One of the things we did was go to see this film. It had been out for a few months at that point, and I don’t think we were expecting much. Both of us were very pleasantly surprised. In fact, to this day, this remains one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve seen it dozens of times and I still laugh every single time I do. Everyone is so good in it and the dialogue is so funny. I feel like it exists to make your day better. Its message certainly isn’t deep: be nice to your friends, don’t lie, don’t be cynical, and believe in yourself. Maybe it’s the inspirational poster of movies, but I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying a nice, fluffy film every now and then.

I give it 4.75 stars.


Patricia said...

I, too, have very fond memories of this film. Matt and I watched it soon after we bought the house, which means we watched it about 15 years ago. I had come home from an RE retreat and he was sitting down to watch it and so I started to watch it too. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe at one point. And I fell off the couch.

I agree that everyone is perfect in this movie. Even Tim Allen, who I usually can't stand, channels the Shatner-like guy perfectly.

balyien said...

Yeah, it's a rare day when I'll willingly watch anything with Tim Allen in it, but I have to admit he's good in this.

I love the mental image of you laughing so hard that you fell off the couch.