Friday, August 8, 2008

Review - Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest
2000 Hugo Winner for Best Dramatic Presentation

We're less than twenty-four hours from the 2008 Hugo winners being announced but there's still work to be done talking about the past winners. For what it's worth I'm rooting for the long shot Stardust in the long form category and the only way "Blink" is going to lose in the short form is if it splits the votes with the other Dr. Who nominee.

Let's go back to the summer of 2000 when Galaxy Quest had made its splash and walked away with the award. Comedy is a rare choice for any award and Galaxy Quest is the last comedic Hugo winning film or television show (one "speech" won later). It hits on themes familiar to any science fiction fan.

Tim Allen plays an actor who had a popular science fiction show very similar to but legally distinct Star Trek. He continues to live off of convention appearances with the rest of the show's cast as well as an album of spoken word versions of popular songs. Wait, that last part was William Shatner.

Anyway after blowing up at some fans and giving them the "Get a life!" speech (not followed up by letting them know it was a reenactment of the evil captain created in a transporter accident from episode ten) he is abducted by aliens who thought the show was real. They built an exact copy of everything they saw on the series and want him to use it to confront a warlord. Hilarity ensues, lessons are learned, and everyone lives happily ever after except the evil warlord and the token red shirt.

It's a comedy so there isn't a whole lot to say. I laughed, that was the purpose of the movie, so I'd say it was successful. It's cute if you don't know your Star Trek lore and much more funny if you do. The lines for the most part aren't particularly witty, the film relies more on the crazy situations for the humor.

It does follow the standard Hollywood comedy plot arc (bad person becomes good person by learning to help other people) which may be a negative for some people but if I'm amused I don't mind it. The entire cast was fun to watch and appropriately quirky for a comedy.

If you absolutely cannot stand formulaic comedies I suppose you might not like Galaxy Quest. The rest of us can watch it and have fun. It's not deep or particularly clever or brilliant but I enjoyed it.