The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, brought to you by a/perture Cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, is Galaxy Quest, starring Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver. The film is from 1999.
Per IMDb: “The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.”
Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, a very self-important actor who played a very Shatner-esque character in a very Star Trek-esque television show called Galaxy Quest. The show is many years removed from television but Nesmith still plays himself up as a superstar. The whole main cast: Nesmith, Gwen DeMarco (played by Weaver), Alexander Dane (played by Rickman), Fred Kwan (played by Tony Shalhoub, best known for his role in TV’s Monk) and Tommy Webber (played by Daryl Mitchell) all came together at various Trekker-style conventions and that’s how they made their money. Sam Rockwell plays Guy Fleegman who was only in one episode of the show and is red-shirted (or killed off immediately) can’t let go of the fact that he was on the show and tries to plant himself in the middle of the conventions.
During one of the conventions, another of which Nesmith is rock-starring it up and is late because he’s hungover, the cast gets fed up with him and decide they’re quitting after this. They put on their happy faces and go out to meet the fans. Jason is approached by a group of people who say they’re Thermians from the Klaatu Nebula. They ask for his help. He believes that they’re just a group of fanboys (and girls) that are filming a fan-based film and goes with them. It turns out that they’re real aliens that use morphing machines to make them appear humans. The race is technologically advanced but still ignorant to a lot of what happens on Earth. They have no concept of fiction and see the television show as historic documentaries and not science fiction TV. However, believing it’s all real, they create a spaceship that is identical to the one on the show called Protector.
They want Jason to help them negotiate with Sarris, an intergalactic terrorist who is waging war on the Thermians. So they transport him to this ship. Sarris demands some device called Omega 13 which was used in the final episode of GQ. Jason still thinks it’s a production and orders the Thermians to fire upon Sarris’ ship and then demands to be sent home. When he’s teleported back home, he understands that it all was real after all. The Thermians come back and ask for more help in the surrender with Sarris. He believes Sarris is the one surrendering, so Jason asks his cast to help him. They all need money and thinking this is an acting job, they all go, even Fleegman. Once aboard Sarris keeps them from leaving and then they must assume their TV show roles and take command of the ship. They hardly know what to do and the comedy there was really good.
They have no idea how to really operate the ship. They damage it and need to replenish its fuel source, beryllium. They find some on a nearby planet, retrieve some and return to find that Sarris has boarded the ship and captured the crew. He interrogates Jason about the Omega 13 which leads him to spilling the beans about it being just a fictional TV show and not real. The Thermians are hurt equating fiction to deceit and lies. Sarris sets the self-destruct mechanism on the Protector (why would this ever be a real thing?) and leaves some of his men to guard the crew.
Jason contacts an avid (or rabid) GQ fan on Earth to help him with how to operate the ship (and we know how those kinds of fanboys (and girls) can be, right?) and they figure out a way to overpower the guards and gives the Earth-bound fanboy to help them stop the self-destruct. Brandon, the fan boy, tells Jason that Omega 13, thought to be a destructive bomb is thought by more people to be a time machine capable of going back in time thirteen seconds. Sarris reboards the ship and starts killing the crew (including some of the actors) but Jason activates the Omega 13 and goes back thirteen seconds to thwart the attack.
They detach from the main part of the ship and return back to Earth. They crash land, believe it or not, into a building housing their next GQ convention. They all exit the ship and are given a round of applause as the audience thinks this is part of the gimmick. Sarris exits the ship and Jason vaporizes him which makes the crowd more crazy. And guess what? The TV show is renewed.
Okay, so I gave it all away. It’s very typical and predictable in what’s going to happen. But, that’s not the point. The point is the ride; how you get there. The comedy is good, the interaction is good. The storyline is fun. The acting is great. To see Rickman in a comedy role is good because, although he’s done comedy-ish things in the past, this was full on comedy. I also liked him as Marvin the paranoid android in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where he was also funny. Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver had good, almost believable chemistry.
My thoughts are that it is definitely worth a watch as it’s a good time. Is it just good comedy that isn’t full-on belly laughs. Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 90% fresh and it has a 78% audience score. I lean more with the editors of the site on this one. I watched it on Netflix and I will rate it 4 stars. Have you seen it? Do you agree with me? Drop me a line and let me know. I think it’s worth your time if you’ve not seen it.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…