(director: Dean Parisot; screenwriters: story by David Howard/David Howard/Robert Gordon; cinematographer: Jerzy Zielinski; editor: Don Zimmerman; music: David Newman; cast: Tim Allen (Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart), Alan Rickman (Alexander Dane/Dr Lazarus), Sigourney Weaver (Gwen DeMarco/Lieutenant Tawny Madison), Daryl Mitchell (Tommy Webber/Lieutenant Laredo), Sam Rockwell (Guy Fleegman), Tony Shalhoub (Fred Kwan/Sergeant Chen), Enrico Colantoni (Mathasar), Missi Pyle (Laliari), Justin Long (Brandon), Robin Sachs (Sarris), Patrick Breen (Quellek) Enrico Colantoni(Matesar); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: PG; producer:Mark Johnson/Charles Newirth; Dreamworks SKG; 1999)
“A one-joke sci-fi comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A one-joke sci-fi comedy helmed by TV director Dean Parisot (“Home Fries”/”Fun With Dick and Jane”) and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon, from Howard’s story. It’s a farce about actors who played Star-Trek-like astronauts in the Galaxy Quest TV series that ran from 1979 to 1982 and some eighteen years later these washed-up actors are reduced to still making a living out of their former roles by making costumed personal appearances for fan conventions or for shopping mall promotions.
At one loyal fan convention appearance in California, The Thermians, a race of aliens from Klatu Nebula, have mistaken intercepted television transmissions of the show for historical “documents.” A few of them arrive on Earth believing the TV series is real and their show-worshipping leader Matesar (Enrico Colantoni), as a last resort, asks for the help from the show’s Jason Nesmith, who plays the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector’s arrogant heroic Commander Peter Quincy Taggart (Tim Allen) to handle negotiations with the fierce alien warlord Sarris (Robin Sachs) whose aliens have attacked their friendly group. The other crew members joining the venture include Alan Rickman as the embittered Shakespearean Brit actor Alexander Dale playing the show’s alien who is their science officer Dr. Lazarus, Sigourney Weaver as the actress Gwen DeMarco playing the sexy communication officer Lieutenant Tawny Madison, Daryl Mitchell as the actor Tommy Webber playing the grown-up child gunner Lieutenant Laredo, and, lastly, Tony Shalhoub is the actor Fred Kwan playing the cool engineer Tech Sgt. Chen.Sam Rockwell is a hoot as Guy Fleegman, a convention organizer who appeared on one episode of the original series and was killed off in five minutes.
The gentle satire on the Trekkie cult sort of works if you can laugh knowingly at Rickman’s signature line: “By Gramtha’s hammer, I shall be avenged!” I thought the clever premise would elicit more laughs. Instead I found the comedy was mostly lacking in favor of highlighting the TV actors unscripted adventure in outer space and their bitter-sweet relationship with their nerdy fans.
REVIEWED ON 5/22/2017 GRADE: B-