Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest; Science-fiction comedy, USA, 1999; D: Dean Parisot, S: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell

Science-fiction TV series "Galaxy Quest" was cancelled 20 years ago but still attracts a huge fan base. The actors of the show Jason, Dane and Gwen haven't made a single significant film since then so they earn their money by appearing on fan conventions. One day, Thermians, real aliens, show up and bring first Jason and then the rest of the crew into their space ship. For them, "Galaxy Quest" isn't a fictional show, but a historical document and thus they beg them for their help because they are terrorized by a despot from another planet. Jason gets stuck on a desert planet but gets saved and tells Thermians the secret about the show: with the help of a time machine, he returns back in time for 13 seconds, shoots the despot on a convention and starts acting in new episodes.

"Galaxy Quest" is an implicit parody of "Star Trek" and thus has some specific charm, but simply isn't inspired in humor. In "Star Trek", the main pillar was a great chemistry between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, while here the chemistry between Jason and Dane is practically nonexistent, maybe because they have little great dialogues, while many parallels with the above mentioned series are arbitrarily. There's this intriguing, powerful moment where Jason in uniform is on the toilet and overhears the conversation of some teenagers who lament how all actors from "Galaxy Quest" are losers, and it was probably real and might have inspired the writers of the film, yet except for a few good gags here and there - among others, the "pilot" of the space ship is flying terribly through a mine field, hitting many of them, and Dane advises him cynically: "Can you try not to hit *every* mine out there?!" - the story as a whole is forced, anemic and lax, with an absurd time travel subplot at the end, yet one moment is gold and justifies the film's existence: it's the one where a happy fan gives instructions to the "Galaxy Quest" crew on the way through their space ship, since they don't know it themselves!


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