Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
The sci-fi television series "Galaxy Quest", which took place aboard the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, starred Jason Nesmith as suave Commander Peter Quincy Taggert, Gwen DeMarco as sexy communications person Lt. Tawny Madison (a role which consisted solely of repeating what the computer stated, much to Gwen's annoyance), Shakespearean trained Sir Alexander Dane as alien Dr. Lazarus, Fred Kwan as engineer Tech Sgt. Chen, and Tommy Webber as child gunner Laredo. Seventeen years after the series last aired, it lives on in the hearts of its rabid fans. However, it lives on in infamy for its stars, who have not been able to find meaningful acting work since. Their current lives revolve around cashing in on however those roles will afford, which usually entails attending fan conventions or worse, such as shopping mall openings. Only Jason seems to relish his lot in life, until he finds out that his co-stars detest him because of his superior attitude as "the Commander", and much ... Written by
Entertains adults and children alike, standing as one of the year's best family films. ***1/2 out of ****
GALAXY QUEST (1999) ***1/2
Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Alan Rickman, Daryl Mitchell and Sam Rockwell Directed by Dean Parisot, written by David Howard. Running Time: 104 minutes. Rated PG (for action violence and some gore, mild language, and brief sex-related material)
By Blake French:
As I walked out of the theater in which I screened "Galaxy Quest," I thought how surprised I was to have enjoyed what seemed as a cheesy family spoof. But the film turned to be an action adventure with some really hilarious moments. I loved the film. It has qualities of a successful science fiction drama, but also contains a variety of comical characters that had the whole audience overwhelmed in laughter. "Galaxy Quest" is right up there with "Toy Story" in merit, it entertains adults and children alike, standing out as one of the year's best family films.
The story details the adventures of a canceled television science fiction fantasy cast, similar in content to "Star Trek." "Galaxy Quest" is the name of the program. In their years, the stars, including Jason Nesmith, Gwen DeMarco, Fred Kwan, Alexander Dane, and Tommy Webber, were some of the biggest, most popular names in TV. Now, their means of making a living is signing fans' autographs for a price and being cast in amateur presentations.
There is very detailed character development here. The characters are wonderfully cast and brilliantly portrayed. Unfortunately, most family films don't contain the patience for such necessary material. We bond with these characters; they are likable, funny, energetic and independent. These individuals are the key of success to this kind of movie.
The real plot begins when strange people come to Jason beging for him to save their existence from a powerful evil force who wishes to wipe them out of the universe forever. Naturally, at first our television star is skeptical, but when the strange people turn out to be humble aliens and transport Jason to their spaceship, he realizes this is something serious. The aliens begin to explain that they think he and his "Galaxy Quest" team are the only people in the universe who can save their race. He rushes to the members of his old cast and tries to justify his experience. He says that there are extraterrestrial creatures who require the help of their "Galaxy Quest" characters. None of his friends believe him, but once again give in when they find themselves transported off earth, onto the creature's spaceship. Of course, the aliens don't realize that their hopeful heroes are simply out of work actors, but who needs to tell them? So it is up to Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, Lt. Tawny Madison, Tech Sergeant Chen, Dr. Lazarus of Tev'Meck, and Lt. Laredo to save the day for our innocent and haunted alien life forms.
"Galaxy Quest" is a slapstick comedy that is smart, and does not go over the edge with its humorous material. It leaves room for several other essential elements such as happiness, romance, honesty, excitement, and contains a dramatic purpose. The story is very original, and contains a firm theme of action in its premise. It also has lots of outstanding visual effects and sight gags that are effective and interesting to watch.
Although the film gets a little off-track near the end, "Galaxy Quest" is still high energy laughs audiences will come to the theater expecting. This is one of the most victorious movies of this year in its execution of the script because we anticipate what we are going to view is a silly comic spoof. Even though parts of the film fit that definition, in the end we end up with a lot more than that.
Brought to you by DreamWorks Pictures.
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