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June 18, 2019 | Rome, Italy

Galaxy Quest

By | 2018-03-21T18:56:47+02:00 August 26th, 2013|Reviews|

3.5

Date: 1999

Director: Dean Parisot

Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni

Charm’s sizzle is at the juncture of sensibility and circumstance. Tinge the two with the right doses of timely wit and breezy self-deprecation and what you get, at least in this case, is what people once labeled “a little something special.”

The washed up former stars of a “Star Trek”-like show known as “Galaxy Quest” are reduced to touring to make a buck and quench diehard fan appetites. The jaded bunch doesn’t get along particularly well and enjoys wallowing in well-rehearsed kitsch (“Never give up, never surrender. “) After all, the show was canceled years ago (even though adoring fans won’t accept it) and the one-note actors are forgotten footnotes in the entertainment universe. As for groupies, the cast has seen them all — until, that is, they’re nagged by a peculiar group of politely stubborn acolytes who whinnying that their universe needs saving. They even a have a starship at the ready. Right.

Problem is, they do, and the five fictional washouts are now warriors in the trapdoor reaches of non-studio outer space, transported from one absurdity, the show, to the another, a race of people who once watched it from light years away and modeled their civilization on all things “Questy.”

Director Dean Parisot’s narrative is one long riff on TV sci-fi show antics, and the cast, led by Tim Allen (in art, Commander Peter Quincy Taggert), ham it up throughout (with Alan Rickman’s Spock-like Dr. Lazerus pitch-perfect). Enrico Colantoni, also hamming, is incomparable as Mathesar, the leader of the, ahem, Thermians.

But what can’t be hammed — and hence the endearment — is the grow-on-you idea that sulking losers can be transformed, Walter Mitty-like, into reluctant heroes. It’s life imitating art, imitating life, imitating the joy and silliness of both acting and devotion, the gentle whole emerging as a sublime love letter to those (all of us) who need fantasy to survive.

About the Author:

Marcia Yarrow
A military brat, Marcia Yarrow was born in Hamburg, Germany but gewq up in Germany, Spain, and Provo, Utah. She's been writing for the magazine since its creation in 2004.

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