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With: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Robin Sachs, Patrick Breen, Missi Pyle, Jed Rees, Justin Long, Jeremy Howard, Kaitlin Cullum, Jonathan Feyer, Corbin Bleu, Wayne Pére
Written by: Robert Gordon, David Howard, based on a story by David Howard
Directed by: Dean Parisot
MPAA Rating: PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality
Running Time: 101
Date: 12/23/1999

Galaxy Quest (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

By Grabthar's Hammer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Before Tropic Thunder, there came this clever and satisfying spoof of "Star Trek" and its enduing fan phenomenon. Galaxy Quest asks interesting questions about the actors from this show, older now and mostly working conventions and personal appearances, with any other career ambitions slowly fading away. Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) was the captain on the old show, and he has deluded himself into thinking he's having fun, until he gets a wake up call, overhearing a backstage conversation. Soon after he receives a visit from a handful of actual aliens who believe he's a real starship captain and want his help. Thinking it's another job, he agrees, but soon discovers that an evil alien is bent on destroying this peaceful race. Jason manages to convince his "crew" to come along: sexy Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), whose job is to show a little cleavage and repeat everything the computer says; the British thespian Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), who plays a Spock-like creature; laid-back Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub); and grown-up child star Tommy Webber (Daryl Mitchell). Additionally, there's Guy Fleegman (Sam Rockwell), who made one appearance on the show as a nameless crew member who lasted less than ten minutes. (Guy has milked this few minutes of fame into a career.) These characters manage to establish a wonderful kind of emotional history and shorthand with one another. Enrico Colantoni is very funny as the good alien Mathesar, who speaks a kind of halting English, with the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllables. And Justin Long made his movie debut as a nerdy teenager who lends a hand. Directed by Dean Parisot (Home Fries, Fun with Dick and Jane) and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon, Galaxy Quest does a wonderful job sticking by its post-modern premise while balancing all the traditional requirements of a three-act Hollywood comedy. Additionally, the movie has lots of CGI, but it also makes time for some actual latex and rubber costumes, which is refreshing. It all holds up surprisingly well.

DVD Details: Paramount has released a tenth anniversary special edition DVD in 2009, which is also a sly way to capitalize on their new Star Trek movie reboot (the disc comes with lots of Star Trek trailers). Most of the extras consist of the usual featurettes (interviews and clips), deleted scenes and a trailer. Better still are "Sigourney Weaver Raps" and the "Thermian audio track."

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