Galaxy Quest Deluxe Edition (2009, Paramount)
purchase from Amazon: DVD
While the new Star Trek film continues to soar through the box office to become one of the most popular movies of the year, Paramount has decided that itâ€™s time to take another look at the hilarious Star Trek parody, Galaxy Quest. Amazingly, itâ€™s been 10 years since the filmâ€™s theatrical release, yet it remains one of the brightest and funniest comedies of the last decade with one of the strongest casts youâ€™ll find in any movie.
Tim Allen stars as Jason Nesmith, a washed up actor from an ’80s sci-fi television series called Galaxy Quest in which he played Captain Peter Taggart. Since the cancellation of the show, Nesmith and his TV crew castmates have been stuck on the convention circuit, selling autographs and opening supermarkets. That crew includes Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco, the sex interest on the original Galaxy Quest, a droll Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane, a Shakespeare-trained actor relegated to performing in makeup appliances and uttering the words â€œBy Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!â€ Tony Shaloub as Fred Kwan, and the always great Daryl Mitchell as Tommy Webber, whose character on the original show was a child. Tommy is now an adult and having to come to terms that his glory years were when he was a kid.
An alien race comes across the original episodes of Galaxy Quest and mistakes them for actual documentary footage and builds a functioning replica of the starship. The aliens are led by the brilliant Enrico Colantoni and feature a then-unknown Rainn Wilson as a member. They recruit Nesmith to help them. Nesmith goes along, believing the gig to be yet another promotional opportunity. When he discovers the mission is real, he recruits his old castmates, along with an incidental from the original series (hilariously played by Sam Rockwell). The entire crew is beamed into space in the middle of a REAL intergalactic confrontation, going up against some nefarious creatures that come to us courtesy of the legendary Stan Winston. The Galaxy Quest crew must put aside their differences, overcome their fears and unite as a team and help the aliens defeat the enemy.
Galaxy Quest was written by David Howard and Robert Gordon and directed by Dean Parisot. It is one of those rare comedies that has universal appeal. Sci-fi fans will get the inside jokes while fans of slapstick and great ensemble pieces have plenty to keep them entertained. Each character has depth and is given opportunities to shine.
As I said, the entire cast is top notch. Normally I can only take Tim Allen in small does, but when working with exceptional actors like Weaver, Rickman (who seems to be having a blast) and Shaloub, Allen really steps up to display some acting chops. But it isnâ€™t difficult to be funny when working with the script they had. Moreover, there are enough human moments in Howard and Gordonâ€™s screenplay to make us really care for every character, even the strange alien race. The climax of the film, featuring a crash landing on earth that requires the assistance of a group of Quest nerds (whose leader is a young Justin Long) will keep you on your toes and have you cheering in the end.
Not many films cross genres as capably as Galaxy Quest, the film is a loving parody that brings to mind early Mel Brooks (particularly Blazing Saddles). Great laughs, great thrills, and a fun ride, Galaxy Quest is worth a second (or third) look.
The Galaxy Quest Deluxe Edition comes with several never released bonus features including two excellent featurettes: â€œThe Story of Galaxy Quest,â€ which tells how the film came together and includes interviews with the entire cast; and â€œBy Grabtharâ€™s Hammer, What Amazing Effects,â€ which offers an nice look at the great effects by ILM and the late Stan Winston.