15 – Galaxy Quest

For those of you who grew up watching the old Star Trek series, complete with cheesy special effects and wooden acting, or for those of you who have seen legions of Trekkies – either in person or on TV at one of those seemingly ubiquitous conventions – this movie just might strike a cord. In the movie, a long-ago TV show called Galaxy Quest rode the airwaves, starring Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), and Sir Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman). After a short run, the series was cancelled (sound familiar?), but the legacy of the crew lives on in a neverending series of personal experiences. Sure, the ol’ crew is a little long in the tooth, but hey, they need the money.

It’s at one of these conventions, though, that something odd happens. Seems these aliens beam down and tell Jason how much they admire his commander skills and that they need him post-haste to go monitor a peace accord with some mean, ugly aliens. Jason, naturally, thinks it’s another publicity gig, but it turns out these are bona fide aliens, and it isn’t long before Jason angers an evil alien despot. It’s not long before he realizes those are real aliens, so he rounds up the crew from another promotional stop he had missed, and it’s back to the ship for the adventure part of the tale.

There are plenty of in-jokes to Trekkies (who aren’t referred to as Trekkies in the movie, but all of the references are pretty thinly veiled. Galaxy Quest is a fun romp, poking fun at a subject that’s certainly due for a poking – the lifestyle of all of the Star Trek-worshippers who attend their conventions with untethered glee, treating the long-ago actors as infallible angels. There are legions of fans who dissect each and every nuance of the Star Trek experience, from the personalities of the characters to the intricate technical details of the spaceships, and Galaxy Quest incorporates a lot of that lemming-like logic in this script.

As for the actors, all turn in fine work, with Allen and Weaver particularly appealing. Rickman is wonderfully cast as the snide doctor, a classically trained thespian who never tires of telling his fellow actors he once played Shakespeare.

PROS: Fun script, credible special effects

CONS: If you really hate Star Trek and the Star Trek experience, you might not buy into the premise

Galaxy Quest: 6

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