There’s a fondness at work here that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The narrative shoots for the laugh by playing the ridiculous as real, and takes time to create its characters, establish its stakes (absurd as they are), and build an actual plot.
Ten years out and there’s still some fun to be had here. Star Trek has started the steep climb back up the mountain of relevancy, but it doesn’t take away from good humor Galaxy Quest seeks to provide; a credit to a solid script, and a cast committed to playing it straight. And keep an eye out for younger versions of Rainn Wilson and Justin Long (the guy in the Mac commercials).
One impressive sign of the film’s age involves the make-up effects created by the late Stan Winston. Actor Robin Sachs brings the villain Sarris to life through Winston’s innovative creation: a prosthetic mask that reacts to the facial performance of the talent underneath. Nowadays, you’d just stick some dots on the guy’s face and fill the rest in later with CGI. In 1999, however, it wasn’t that easy. We sure do miss you, Stan.
Special features include a host of extras. A few documentaries detail the film’s production, and even provide some funny insights, and they even got fabled director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) to sit for an interview. Included deleted scenes explain the random, er, wardrobe malfunction in the film’s final acts, and the Thermian audio track might become a little annoying after a while, but it’s a nice gag.
Sci-fi fans, you’ll enjoy the ribbing at your expense — anyone who’s ever attended a convention (or even dared think about it) gets a jab. But the fun pays more homage than harm, and everyone else will just enjoy the chance to laugh near you.