So my scheduling has been all over the place recently. I fell ill last weekend with some variation on the theme of man-flu, and combined with the fact that there was absolutely bugger all being released, the week passed without any cinematic note. I’m still waiting for Imperium to show it’s swastika-tattooed face, so until then I’m just going to buckle down, clamp my hands over my ears, and talk about a film that I actually want to talk about for a change.
Galaxy Quest is the kind of movie that, if it were made today, would probably star Seth Rogen and numerous variations of Franco (Dave or James, hopefully not General). This is a long winded way of calling at a self-referential parody, however, and should NOT be mistaken for praise. The obvious Star Trek spoof is simple yet masterfully executed by way of some ingenious casting. Tim Allen shines as the Shatneresque Jason Nesmith, the actor who lives for the fan conventions and is utterly oblivious to the professional ridicule it has attracted. Sigourney Weaver displays a brilliant level of self parody in her relatively useless character within the Galaxy Quest show – a far cry indeed from the xenomorph-murdering Ellen Ripley she is more famous for. Sam Rockwell is rib-achingly hilarious as the redshirt that never gave up, and Alan Rickman plays the role that only he could have pulled off, namely former thespian Alexander Dane, who with an attitude akin to Patrick Stewart in the early days of Star Trek: The Next Generation is simply above it all and finds the whole premise just as ridiculous as the audience does.
This review may end up being on the shorter side, because there is very little one can objectively criticise about Galaxy Quest. Of course, one could argue that it’s subject matter is quite niche, and that it requires one already be on board with sci-fi fandom to understand the humour involved, but this isn’t the case because I watched this in the company of a non-fan who got just as much enjoyment from it as I did. Parody done well can be open to anyone. One doesn’t have to be an avid fan of disaster movies to find Airplane! funny, and I feel that the same logic applies to this film. Galaxy Quest is funny without being insulting, and is actually quite affectionate towards its subject matter, which really comes across in the writing and story. It’s cult status is well deserved, and if you thought that Buzz Lightyear wouldn’t work well in live-action, then allow Tim Allen himself to physically prove you wrong!