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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I still don't quite understand why "GQ" never conquered the box office.
The movie is clever, hysterically funny, surprisingly moving and, as
one reviewer pointed out, more respectful of (and better at
communicating) the ideals of "Star Trek" than any of the recent "Trek"
movies or television incarnations. The script is inventive, the special
effects are vivid and powerful (especially when the actors see the real
ship for the first time, and when the rock monster rampages through the
ship), and the characters are incredibly well drawn.
I'm also puzzled by the negative reactions some people have to the film. Does the film fail to register because the "Trek" social phenomenon is unfamiliar to them, thus there's no frame of reference? I'd really like to know.
Comedy is possibly the hardest genre to get right, because line delivery, timing, direction and character shading all have to be pretty much perfect or the movie just won't be funny. GQ nails these elements -- right on the head and in virtually every scene -- and keeps up the pace by constantly moving its characters forward. Tony Shalhoub (Fred), Sam Rockwell (Guy Fleegman) and Enrico Colantoni (Mathesar) in particular are so dead-on perfect in their scenes that lack of box office and the Academy's traditional indifference to comedy are probably the only reasons these guys didn't get Oscar nods. (Okay, well, 1999 was also an incredibly strong year for American cinema.)
But GQ is also strangely moving -- particularly in the way it derives comedy from despair. The actor characters' lives are in ruins, not unlike the aliens they eventually save from extinction. Perhaps this is why -- even though the characters don't know it yet -- the two groups get along so well and why the actors make the decision to actually become their TV characters in the end. This may also be why the dismay in Mathesar's face when he learns the truth is so painful.
I suspect GQ also got lumped in with the likes of "Scary Movie" and "The Naked Gun" movies in the public's collective conscious: It was perceived as just another spoof and therefore not worthy of significant attention. I hope the movie develops enough of a cult following that it one day reaches that wider audience it deserves.
This film was amazing. I saw the trailers and swore I'd never watch it.
couple of friends overruled this after watching it in the theaters, and
glad they did.
Not only is this film an amusing spoof of Science Fiction Fen-dom, it's a brilliant action-adventure/science-fiction film in its own right. The only other film I can think of that is a righteous satirical look, yet a splendid example of the genre, is the Fifth Element.
Galaxy Quest Has It All. Beautiful women in scanty clothing. Love interests. Computers. Space ships. Ugly and evil monsters. Blasters. Arcane martial arts. Dynamite catch phrases. And best of all, the very population that is satirized is the group that Saves The Day.
The dialogue is brilliant - you'll find yourself quoting from this film regularly. The acting is marvelous. Tim Allen doing William Shatner doing a Heroic Spaceship Captain is worth the rental all by itself, not to mention Alan Rickman's memorably dry performance as the I-Am-Not-My-Strange-Looking-Alien character.
The first thing I thought upon leaving the theater was that I had to see this film again. The first thing I thought upon seeing it again was that I would have to own this movie. Check it out - you won't be sorry.
Comedies are usually pretty tricky for me. Either I'm laughing my head
and nobody else gets it, or everybody else is laughing and I'm looking for
the nearest exit. But Galaxy Quest had everyone in the theater laughing,
including my companion--who hates science fiction. It cut across ages and
backgrounds with a very simple premise--you are what you believe yourself
As a fifteen year veteran of science fiction conventions, I've seen the phenomenon from both sides of the stage. I've met the get-a-lifers, the just-for-fun guys, and the not-so-rare I'm-only-in-it-for-the profit gang. I've met actors who loved the whole shebang, actors who loathed it, and actors who didn't have a clue what was going on. Fandom is a very big place, with room for all sorts.
And Galaxy Quest got it right--the conventions, the costumes, the geeks, the groupies, even the mocking "mundanes" who attend cons looking for kicks. It took notice of all the science fiction cliches, acknowledged them, and then twisted them to its own comedic purposes.
Galaxy Quest captured not only the silliness of fandom, but the inspiration of it. In the end, the demoralized and cynical actors found strength and meaning in the same characters which stereotyped them. The geeks saved the day. The good guys won. The bad guys provided entertainment to masses of fans. Things blew up. And isn't that what science fiction is all about?
The entire cast was excellent, especially Tim Allen and Alan Rickman doing their best Shatner and Nimoy impersonations. Special credit must go to the four actors who played the naive aliens. Their wide-eyed innocence reminded me of the quality that drew me, and draws children of all ages into the world of science fiction.
This movie didn't rely on vulgarities or overt violence. It didn't need to resort to meanness or cruel jokes, either. While it poked fun at science fiction and its fans, it never resorted to the kind of mockery you see in other films.
Galaxy Quest is a solid, funny movie. Go see it. Take the kids. Go see it twice.
I generally rate films highly based on how often and how much I'd like to
watch them again. I can watch most films more than once, but only a few have
the necessary qualities to watch over and over again. Comedy films are never
that high on my list of "watch agains". After seeing a joke or comic scene
once, it's hard for it to have the same impact again and again. I well
recall being in tears of laughter when I first saw Airplane at the cinema.
But now I find it hard going and even the inflatable pilot only raises a
So it's rare that a film like Galaxy Quest (a scifi comedy) comes along, but very welcome when it does. There's a lot of homage paid to Star Trek, of course, and old scifi shows in general and fans of those will have no trouble spotting the moments culled from those shows.
The cast are all exemplary in their roles as ex scifi stars who get catapulted into the real thing and have to save the galaxy. Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver give good, solid performances here. In particular, Weaver shows a talent for comedy here that was lacking in Ghostbusters. Tony Shalhoub's bumbling, out-of-his-depth technician is also a nice addition.
But out of all of them two really shine for me. Alan Rickman, whose facial expressions throughout the film just have you laughing out loud without needing to listen to what's being said. And Sam Rockwell, who plays the "extra crewman" who's always convinced he's going to get killed, because he's a nobody and not one of the regular cast.
The whole film is chock full of delightful silliness and memorable scenes, such as where they enlist the aid of geeks to navigate them through their own ship as the geeks know the plans off by heart.
A great film, much underrated at the box-office and destined to become a classic.
There are very few comedies out there that manage to get laughs from
all of the jokes; "Galaxy Quest" is one of the few films that pretty
much gets them all.
As corny as it sounds, the film is practically perfect in its execution. It parodies a genre that had been screaming for it for decades. It's funny from start to finish and even manages to have a heart while on the way.
When the film was first released in theatres, I didn't have any desire to see it. I don't think the advertising was right for the film. I am a huge "Star Trek" fan and I found the advertising made the picture look stupid with juvenile humor. A co-worker insisted I see it, saying if I didn't I would regret it for the rest of my life.
Luckily I didn't ignore him, because he would have been right!
There are a lot of reviews for this film here, most of them positive. I am quite glad to see that I am not alone in my praise for this film.
Most certainly it's not "Citizen Kane" by any means, but for what it is and what it is trying to do, it succeeds in every aspect. The screenplay is technically brilliant (in terms of structure, characterization, and wit!). ILM does a terrific job in the visual effects department (as they most often do), and David Newman's score not only parodies but also develops into a heartwarming action score (a paradox? I think not!).
"Galaxy Quest" - If you haven't seen it yet and you love "Star Trek," I only have to ask....."what ARE you.....waiting for?"
'Galaxy Quest' couldn't be better. It's not a mockumentary, it's not a Star
Trek parody. It's pure comedy based on the Star Trek legend with excellent
actors and absolutely brilliant production.
The visuals are magnificent. You would expect nothing but mediocre stuff for a space comedy, but this is not the case with 'Galaxy Quest'. These are the best effects for a space movie, since 'Starship Troopers'!
The story is also very original and interesting. Not only jokes on thin air, but a great story nonetheless. The triumphant ending is beautiful, it elevates you! In fact, it would easily compete with the some of the best Star Trek stories of all time.
Don't miss it!
The first thing that makes a good movie good is always a great story. The whole idea of actors from a long ago space series being mistaken for being the real deal by actual aliens is indeed ingenious.From there, you put together a top notch cast.They hit the nail on the head there. Tim Allen is a natural for the Jason Nesmith role.A great cast is nothing if they don't work well together.Not to worry.They are superb. This movie is an excellent twist on the old good vs.evil concept.There are movies whose ideas are so unique,you want to love them and not be disappointed.Take my word,Galaxy Quest delivers the goods.Warp speed!
A set of hammy TV actors turn up for a sci-fi convention only to be met
by real aliens who, having only seen them on TV, mistake them for a
real space crew.
Given that Star Trek and Star Trek fans are such campy jokes to start with you don't have to have such the imagination of Charles Dickens to see there is potential here.
The real surprise is that we don't get cheapo jokes, but fully formed, fully funded jokes. Indeed there is more plot and budget than many films that try play it straight.
The crew being actors think there may be a buck involved and go along with what, they initially think, are over-the-top fans and before they know it they are in space having a fully formed adventure.
Jokes about spacemen, mad Trekkies, transporters with side-effects, token blacks, interracial love, British thesps who detest what they do, aliens who don't have a sense of humour, characters who think they are going to be killed because they don't have a second name, and lots, lots more.
Once again I stress that this subject was a sitting duck for satire, but what is amazing is how clever the script is, worse will win Oscars. And the jokes just keep coming. Not all of them funny, but the ratios of hits to misses is pleasingly high and the cast are good enough to make themselves look like idiots as well.
The climax is both and funny and appropriate and had me laughing over the final credits. Highly recommended unless you are the butt of some of the film's bang-on-the-money jokes.
"Galaxy Quest" is an excellent feel good comedy that's enjoyable for
the entire family.
Even though the concept of the movie is not original anymore, the story is still enjoyable and fun enough, mainly thanks to the cast who seemed to be enjoying them selves during filming.
Tim Allen is surprising good as "William Shatner" like captain and Alan Rickman is perfect in his role. Sigourney Weaver perfectly makes fun of her own "Ripley" character from the "Alien" movies and plays the complete opposite of this character. All the characters are fun and entertaining because they are humane instead of heroic. There also is a fine stereotype space villain.
The movie perfectly makes fun of "Star Trek", the fans and everything else around it. Well, I'm not sure if making fun of is the right way to say it, it's more like holding up a mirror, without making the Trekkies look like complete fools.
But it's a comedy so how about some laughs? Well, there are a few laughs but this movie is more of feel good, fun, entertaining comedy instead of an hilarious one. The movie also knows to be emotional at the right moments.
Other thing that contribute to the greatness of this movie are the special effects and the musical score composed by David Newman.
By Grabthar's hammer...what a movie.
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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