Galaxy Quest is a warm-hearted satire of TV science-fiction shows like Star Trek.The washed-up stars of the early 1980s series “Galaxy Quest” are at a fan convention, when they are approached by a delegation of aliens. The sniping actors (led by Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver) dismiss the Thermians as fans in costume until they are taken aboard their spaceship. The Thermians modelled their entire culture on episodes of “Galaxy Quest”, so who else can they turn to when their planet is under attack?
Besides a great premise, Galaxy Quest boasts a witty screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon, filled with quotable lines and TV/science fiction in-jokes. The real actors have a field day with these roles, and director Dean Parisot knows how to let them build a gag. He comes at jokes (like the expendable extra in the ship’s crew) from all angles, and he hits more than he misses. Sigourney Weaver steals all her scenes as the busty, blonde communications officer who only has one job on the ship (talking to the computer). Weaver’s playing an actress who’s smarter than her dumb character, but not by much, and her line readings are terrifically funny. But all the principals all good (I have friends who insist that Rickman’s the scene-stealer).Galaxy Quest is making fun of the actors on these kind of shows, and their fans, but it knows its audience is mostly made up of those fans and it doesn’t insult them. It deserves, and should have no trouble spawning, a sizeable cult of its own.