Movie Magazine International

Galaxy Quest

USA - 1999

Movie Review By Monica Sullivan

Fans of THAT science fiction Series first unleashed by Paramount on an unsuspecting world via NBC in 1966 (You know the one I mean!) were once admonished by its star to "Get a life!" The reality is that any fan of That Series probably has more of a life than he does, along with the privacy to enjoy it. "Galaxy Quest" isn't about That Series, although it may as well be. It stars Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith, who played Captain Peter Quincy Taggart on a long-cancelled science fiction series of the late seventies and early eighties. Nesmith treasures his role as a cultural icon and relishes his many appearances at Galaxy Quest conventions. He's having the time of his life until he overhears some so-called fans making fun of his so-called career in a rest room. He instantly turns into a resentful, bad-tempered autograph machine, sullenly tossing 8" by 10" glossies to his real fans who wait patiently for hours in order to get a mere glimpse of him.

Meanwhile, his long-suffering co-stars are sick of playing second fiddle to this egomaniac who acts as if he and only he is the sole reason anyone ever turns up at a Galaxy Quest convention. Sigourney Weaver is Gwen DeMarco in a blonde wig as Shipmate Tawny Madison. Her job is to talk to a computer in English and then translate its response in English to Captain Taggart in English. (She also wears a revealing red and silver space suit.) Alan Rickman is Shakespearean actor Alexander Dane as Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck who works terribly hard only to observe that Taggart always receives the credit. (He is never seen out of make-up.) Tony Shalhoub is Fred Kwan as Tech Sergeant Chen, whose job is to squint his eyes and make love to alien girls. Daryl Mitchell is the grownup Tommy Webber as Lieutenant Laredo. As a little boy, he not only got to be a navigator but also a gunner. In real life, he can't do any of that stuff. And then there's Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman who played a bit role on one of the episodes and desperately wants to be in the same immortal league as his colleagues.

It turns out that "Galaxy Quest" is an intergalactic hit. Sweet little aliens from the planet Theramin believe that the series episodes are historical documents and recruit the cast to save them from the evil Serris. Not having anything better to do, the unemployed actors accept the assignment, and with the aid of internet fans from the planet Earth, save the world from oblivion. It's all good-natured, mindless fun which should appeal to everyone but purists. You know who I mean: the folks who remember Robert Lansing and Teri Garr more for their guest star roles on That Series than for anything else they did in their entire careers.

© 1999 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 12/22/99

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