Some movies serve the purpose to enlighten or to explore the complexities of the human condition. Others serve only to entertain, to permit the audience a break from the tedium of life. Galaxy Quest is such a film. There is no heavy plot or great acting moments but sheer comedic fun. The story is simple, a group of actors known best for a Sci-Fi TV show twenty years ago make a living by appearing at fan conventions. The show has become a cult icon and the conventions are full of young viewers that take the show a bit too seriously. Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, the actor that held the role of Commander Peter Taggert. He is full of himself much to the chagrin of the other actors from the series. Sigourney Weaver is Gwen DeMarco who played the space bimbo Lt. Tawny Madison. Her only function on the show was to kick the enemy, repeat whatever the computer said and show her cleavage. Then there is Sir Alexander Dane who played Dr. Lazarus (Alan Rickman). Once a Shakespearean actor in England he is now so type cast as the alien doctor with a horrible well known line of dialogue that he hates his life and most of his former cast members. Tony Shalhoub rounds out the cast as the engineer Chen. During one convention real aliens who ask for his help approach Jason. They have been receiving the TV show and not only thought they were real, they built their entire culture upon it. They have built everything in the show including a spaceship. Jason and the other actors are drawn into a mortal battle beyond the stars to save the meek aliens from utter destruction.
This is one Tim Allen movie that actually works. I have seen his other attempts at film comedy and was less than impressed. Here, Allen is perfect as the self centered, hammy actor forced into living his best known role. Weaver is perfect in her role. She brings life to not only the actor but the role that actor was supposed to play. Once aboard the real space ship she immediately begins to parrot everything the computer says stating "its my only job on this ship and Im going to do it". Rickman, perhaps best known as the bad guy in the first Die Hard film once again shows his versatility. Just like in Dogma Rickman demonstrates a true gift for comedy. There where two real gems in the minor casting in this film. Sam Rockwell as Crewman #6, an actor killed off in the first five minutes of the show (he had on a red shirt) and now the host for several of the conventions. He is constantly reminding the actors how badly things get in the TV show. The other breakout performance is Missi Pyle as the female alien Laliari. She is a scream in every scene she is in.
The director of this imaginative Star Trek spoof is Dean Parisot. Although he does not have a lot on his resume he handles this satire in a lighthearted and consistently amusing fashion. He keeps the pace going full blast for almost the entire film. His use of the camera and lighting itself mimics the old Star Trek series. Perhaps is is best that most of his directorial experience comes from the small screen. He set out to produce a film that is fun to watch and he succeeds.
The disc itself is fantastic. It comes in two flavors, Dolby 5.1 and DTS. After seeing both they are just about equal in sound reproduction. Hard core DTS fans will note that the back fill on the DTS version is superior to the DD 5.1 but both versions give you a ride with the sound whipping around the room. The 2.35:1 anamorphic video is flawless. The extras are among the strangest yet on DVD. One soundtrack has been "translated" into the alien Thermian language. There is also an On Location featurette and some deleted scenes. Looking for a fun Friday night with friends, this is the film to watch. This goes especially for people like me that remember the old Star Trek series as a first run TV show.