Thursday, June 07, 2007
Tim Allen plays an actor who was the star of a popular science fiction tv show called Galaxy Quest that was cancelled in the early 1980s, playing the venerable Commander Peter Quincy Taggert of the NSEA Protector. Now the only gigs he and his fellow castmates (Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shaloub) can get is on the sf convention circuit where they encounter hordes of fans who really need to get a life. But a group of real aliens has been monitoring the adventures of Allen and company and believe the actors to be real space adventurers and kidnap them to help them in their quest to defeat an evil intergalactic overlord (what else?). While no great piece of classic cinema, Galaxy Quest at least delivers laughs on a regular basis. And the strong cast is able to dig deep for the laughs when they are hard to find, and even manage to be a little touching on occasion as the actors all realize that they have to believe in themselves in order to save themselves. And few cheap sf clichés are missed as Allen plays the Shatner-like actor playing the Kirkian Captain. Very amusing is the running gag of Guy (Sam Rockwell), the actor who played Crewman Number Six in episode thirty-one, killed by a lava monster before the first commercial break. Guy , accidentally taken away with the main actors, is worried that since he is the expendable crewman, he’ll be the one who dies. And it doesn’t help matters that none of the regular cast can remember Guy’s last name.
(When the actors have to go down to a planet, he goes with them but starts freaking out:
“First I thought I was the crewman who stays on the ship but something is up there and it kills me. But now I'm thinking I'm the crewman who gets killed five minutes after we land on the planet!! [One of his fellow actors slaps him to calm him down.] See? I’m the hysterical guy who needs to be slapped, and then I die.”
“Maybe you’re the plucky comedy relief, Guy. Ever think of that?”
This is not going to win any Oscars. But it is an amusing way to spend a couple of hours.