Satires can be difficult to do well and difficult for audience to get. For one thing, unless an audience is familiar with the source material, the joke (and, in fact, the whole point of the satire) falls flat. So, Dean Perisot took a bit of a risk with this Star Trek send-up. Doubling that risk, Star Trek fans tend to be the loyal sort who can get pretty militant about put downs of their obsession, so the very people most likely to get the jokes were apt to be the people most likely to get offended and angry at the jokes. That's a tall order with a low chance of success. However, somehow Perisot and the rest of the cast and crew of Galaxy Quest managed to walk that line and create a true satirical classic.
Part of the reason for the film's success comes from the way the source material is treated. Though satirical of, and in some cases outright sarcastic about, many of the sillier elements of the Star Trek series, the film comes off more as an homage than a dig. The characters are drawn and performed as likeable, honorable, and capable as well as flawed and goofy. The dialogue pokes fun at itself at the beginning of the film and then becomes actually meaningful as the action progresses. The film offers even non-Trek-familiar audiences enough action and comedy to entertain, and enough romance and human relationships to offer an emotional connection. The performances truly engage (especially Sam Rockwell as Guy and Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan), the special effects impress (while still holding to the absurd look of the source material), and the writing pleases (with enough wit to be funny and natural at the same time). All of which combine to create a playful, funny, and truly exceptional example of great film satire.
SAXTON'S FILM PICKS
People are always asking me what my favorite movies are, so I thought I'd make a list with reviews. I'll try to add a new pick every so often until my huge list of favorites is complete.
If you've seen one (or more) of the films, please add your own (appropriate) comments and reviews.