Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Top 10: #10 Galaxy Quest

One quality all of my top 10 films share is their rewatchability.  That's a particular feat that many films, despite their greatness, fail to achieve.  Galaxy Quest combines a few of my favorite elements of entertainment - science fiction and self-referential comedy.  The main characters are all formerly famous actors from a TV series from the 1970s that is a spoof of the original "Star Trek" - with Tim Allen playing the obnoxious leading man (aka William Shatner as Kirk).  The TV series, "Galaxy Quest" has a huge cult following and does fan events.  At one of these events, some people in costume come up to Allen and ask him for help. He thinks they're just playing along with his character, but they actually ARE aliens from another planet who believe "Galaxy Quest" were "historical documents" and not a television series so they believe Allen has the power to save them from a bad guy.
However, Allen's former costars - Sigourney Weaver, who plays the token sexy woman who just repeats what the computer says, Alan Rickman who plays the ship's doctor with a catch phrase, Tony Shaloub, the ship's technician, and Daryl Mitchell who plays the Wil Wheaton character - a young man who has grown up in real life, but is frozen in adolescence on TV.  They hate that Allen is the favorite character and hate that their careers were subsumed by being part of such a hit TV series years ago.  However, they respect their fans and continue to earn money from their success.  So of course they want in on Allen's new gig.
The whole movie follows all the cliches of 1970s science fiction television.  Most of that is narrated by Sam Rockwell who plays a fan who was an extra on one episode named Guy.  There's a moment when the ship is going down and he's hysterical because he knows he's going to die because no one knows his last name - if you don't know much about a character on a TV show, chances are good they will die off.  I love the humor in this, and its attempt to parody and pay homage at the same time to a genre I adore.   They pay homage by making some of the fans, including a very young Justin Long, responsible for helping save the day.

1 comment:

M. Hufstader said...

Yes! This. I just rewatched this movie not-so-long ago and forgot how amazingly happy it made me. It's just so ridiculously funny! Guy cracks me up every time, especially his near-death freak out. Great review!