Newest Review: ... opening dressing room scene gives us a first glimpse of the main characters and the insolent body language of the crew members - with their... more
The Quest For A Perfect Film Stops Here!
Galaxy Quest (DVD)
Member Name: karenuk
Galaxy Quest (DVD)
Date: 19/05/01, updated on 19/05/01 (31 review reads)
Advantages: Hilarious, Great acting, Alan 'PHWAW!' Rickman
Disadvantages: Erm, not all sci-fi fans are that bad!!, Well, I hope not anyway..., Well, not all of us...
Over the Easter weekend, we were at a sci-fi convention listening to actors talking on the stage, actors we recognise as our idols, our heroes. One of these told us about this movie he had watched – about a group of actors in a cult sci-fi TV series, who are at a convention. Hmm. Rather surreal. The event was a Dr. Who convention, the man recommending the film was Colin Baker, the sixth incarnation of the Doctor.
So we booked to watch Galaxy Quest on Front Row – me, my fiancÚ and three of our children aged 10, 9 and 8 years old. It’s a PG and contains only comic violence, although the more squeamish children might find it scary.
The basic premise is very much in the guise of Star Trek, but as Dr. Who fans, we still found many parallels. This film is a must for any sci-fi fan. Although it is very much a spoof, it pokes fun at cult camp sci-fi of the sixties and seventies in an affectionate way.
The three big names amongst the cast are Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen and Alan Rickman, but the acting is universally excellent, even amongst the minor characters.
Sigourney is, of course, no stranger to sci-fi, playing it straight(ish) in the Alien trilogy, but this time, she gets to glam it up a bit – looking great with blonde hair and a pronounced cleavage – a total contrast to her Alien role with shaven head and almost androgynous physique.
Tim Allen is probably best remembered as Santa Claus or the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films and once again, he gets to play the good guy – eventually.
Alan Rickman, stalwart British actor who has purred and frowned his way through a plethora of films, as varied and contrasting as Die Hard and Sense and Sensibility. He even made a sensational sensual performance in the Texas video for In Demand, performing the sexiest dance on a petrol station forecourt I’ve ever seen.
So, back to the film – Galaxy Quest is a po
pular sci-fi series which has made stars of its actors. They attend conventions, signing photos for queues of fans and being asked detailed questions by some who seem to believe it is all real. To continue the illusion, the actors turn up in costume and are greeted by many fans in similar attire.
But behind the scenes, the actors are not so close knit, with Jason (Tim Allen) – who plays the Galaxy Quest Commander - being rather egocentric and hogging the limelight. (Think Shatner!) He is disliked by most of the cast, especially Alexander (Alan Rickman) who feels pushed out and resentful, feeling Jason is a scene stealer, while Alexander himself is a ‘proper’ actor.
Then three men and a woman turn up at the convention in silver uniforms with fixed grins, squeaky voices and a plea for help for their people. Jason believes them to be simply more insane fans and behaves accordingly – until, that is, he is transported into a huge spaceship and gets to meet a big scary green alien!
He needs to convince his TV crew to accompany him to the spaceship. The alien race are relying on them to be their saviours. But how can they? After all, they are only actors playing a role…
The film is excellent, absolutely hilarious and very well observed. The characters are very cleverly done, although poor Rickman has to keep his make-up on throughout, which includes a strangely shaped head.
The actors strike just the right balance, so you are at first sharply aware that it’s a convention and NOT real, then you get carried away in the story and soon become to believe it. This is helped along by impressive direction and amazing special effects. Wonderful space shots, well constructed spaceships, imaginative aliens and a clever – but not too clever – script make this great family viewing.
The sci-fi in-jokes are plenty - including a companion whose main function is to repeat the words of the
computer – but the film is just as enjoyable for casual viewers as die-hard cult TV fans.
We all loved it, although the kids found some of the ‘violence’ rather scary and couldn’t understand why I was laughing hysterically! The monsters can be pretty intimidating too, so your little one might need to hide behind the sofa, but reassure them the good guys always win and hopefully, they’ll be okay.
This is not to suggest that everything is predictable. Cute does not mean safe. Rocks are not always inanimate objects to lean against. It is not always a good idea to get your kid to take out the bins right at that moment.
I strongly recommend this film. We are hoping to buy the video now, as it is definitely the sort of film that will stand up well to repeated viewing and probably takes a few watches to catch all the little jokes. It’s also convinced me that a Dr. Who film made nowadays, on that kind of budget, would be stunning. Anyone got Spielberg’s phone number?