Galaxy Quest

“Never give up. Never surrender.”

This affectionate parody of Star Trek is one of my favorite science fiction comedies. The fans at the 2013 Trek Convention in Las Vegas even ranked it the seventh best Trek film at the time. I knew Trek fans were smart.

Warning: Spoilers abound. They also frolic and cavort.

Galaxy Quest stars Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith/Cmdr. Taggart/Capt. Kirk. Sigourney Weaver plays Gwen DeMarco/ Lt. Madison/Uhura/Troi. Alan Rickman plays Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus/Spock/Picard. Tony Shalhoub plays Fred Kwan/Tech Sgt. Chen/Scotty/Sulu. Sam Rockwell plays Guy Fleegman/Crewman Number Six/Redshirt. Daryl Mitchell plays Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo/Wesley Crusher. You got that? Good, moving on.

We also get some great aliens played by Enrico Colantoni as Mathesar, Missi Pyle as Laliari, and Rainn Wilson as Lahnk. The way that they portrayed their characters as so sweet and naïve - that was both hilarious and endearing.

Now, I’m a long-time fan of Star Trek, so I really enjoy all the digs at the series and their stars. I’m not a big Tim Allen fan, but he does a good job here channeling Kirk. Once he gets on that space ship he really does embody the tagline, “Never give up. Never surrender.” He leads his crew to victory and it is really fun to see them triumph. All the stars seem to be having a good time and they really make this a joy to watch. My favorite characters were probably Fred and Guy because Tony Shalhoub played Fred as so nonchalant, calm and cuddly, and Sam Rockwell was so hysterical as Guy as he constantly thought that he was going to die at any moment because of his Redshirt character.

There are too many in-jokes to mention, but my favorite ones were probably Fred Kwan squinting when he plays Chen (as if that makes him look Asian), Tommy being a kid at the helm, the self-destruct stopping at one second because it always does, and Guy being an unnamed security officer. It’s not safe to be unnamed and to wear a red shirt on a science fiction TV show, ask anyone.

The crew trying to fly their ship without really knowing how to do so - that’s comedy gold. I love the part where Tommy scrapes The Protector along the side of the launch bay and everyone leans…like that is going to help. Hey, I do that when I’m watching my bowling ball head toward the gutter, but that’s a different matter. Gwen is great as she has nothing to do but irritate everyone as she just repeats what the computer says and states the obvious.

My favorite sequence is what happens on the planet and then what happens right after aboard the ship as the crew tries to find a way to rescue Jason. That digital conveyor mishap is inspired in its execution and just kills me every time. Well, it killed the pig lizard creature also, I guess. I won’t quote the whole scene, but I’m sorely tempted to do so. The scene of Jason and Gwen going through the chomper hallway is also wonderful.

There are some young fans helping out our heroes. I still can’t decide if they are realistically characterized or not. I guess they might have been at the time this movie was made, but now they don’t seem to fit any teenager that I know. Regardless, they help the ship land; crashing right into the convention center where the whole adventure started.

I really like the ending when the crew comes out of the ship one by one and the audience is cheering. Our heroes have just survived an incredible experience and they get to share their triumph with their fans, even though the fans think that the whole thing is just a part of the show.

By Grabthar’s Hammer… Bits and Pieces:

General Sarris was an okay villain, but it was a little convenient that he knew that the Historical Documents were a TV show, with little explanation. He doesn’t look like someone who spends a lot of time watching theatricals.

The Thermians were so great. A whole race of beings who don’t even know what falsehood means and just wants to hug everyone. It’s so sad that there were so few of them left.

The Protector’s registration number is NTE-3120. NTE stands for: Not the Enterprise.

I love the little aliens on the planet. They’re so cute. In the movie, they speak in alien-speak with subtitles, but I remember watching trailers of the movie that had them say these lines: “What is it?” “I don’t know.” “Let’s hit it with a rock.” My husband and I still quote that rock line all the time.

Computer: “Negative, there is no replacement Beryllium Sphere on board.”
Gwen: “No, there is no replacement Beryllium Sphere on board.”
Tommy: “You know, that is really getting annoying.”
Gwen: “Look, I have one job on this lousy ship. It’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it! Okay?”

Alexander: “Could they be the miners?”
Fred: “Sure, they’re like three years old.”
Alexander: “Miners, not minors!”
Fred: “You lost me.”

Guy: “Did you guys ever watch the show?”
Gwen: “See, they’re trying to help the little hurt one.” (The other aliens attack him.)
Gwen: “Let’s get out of here before one of those things kills Guy.”

Guy: “We’re doing episode 81?”
Tommy: “Whatever, the one with the hologram.”
Gwen: “How the hell is Fred supposed to project a hologram?”
Guy: “We’re doing episode 81, Jason?”
Jason: “It’s a rough plan, Guy, what does it matter if we are doing episode 81 or not?”
Guy: (yelling hysterically) “Because I DIED in episode 81!”

Gwen: “What is this thing?... I mean, it serves no purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. No, I mean we shouldn’t have to do this… it makes no logical sense, why is it here?”
Jason: “’Cause it’s on the television show.”
Gwen: “Well, forget it! I’m not doing it! This episode was badly written!”

I have probably seen this movie at least a dozen times and still laugh at all the jokes and get teary-eyed at the end when the audience is cheering. Fandom can be a lovely thing and this movie is an affable and fond spoof of an iconic series.

Mallena loves her DVR, her Pug, anything in the sci-fi, fantasy, and supernatural genres, and her family.  Well, maybe not in that exact order.

4 comments:

Victoria Grossack said...

I loved this movie too! We still settle on it when nothing else intrigues us (too many movies are too serious). Love the quote about the stupid job but still going to do it!

Lamounier said...

Oh my god, I love this movie. I watched it lots of times, but that was years ago. Now I'll have to rewatch it.

Thanks for the review, Mallena. It reminded me of this little gem.

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

There's certainly no shortage of great lines in this movie.

"Alexander, you're my advisor! Advise!"

"Well, you just have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?"

"It's a rock monster! It doesn't have any motivation!"

"See? You were never serious about the craft!"

I love this one to no end, too :-)

Mallena said...

The great, and sadly late Alan Rickman said that he didn't think he wanted to do this movie until he read the script, and it was so funny that he couldn't resist. I loved Rickman, he was also great in Dogma.