Murray Close
EW Staff
November 16, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

Galaxy Quest

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub
director
Dean Parisot
author
Robert Gordon (Writer)
genre
ActionAdventure, Comedy, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it an A-

Allen and Weaver play has-been stars of a ’70s sci-fi series called ”Galaxy Quest,” who have nothing to do but attend conventions and interact with geeky fans. No, they’re not making fun of the ”Star Trek” crew. ”We don’t mock anything, and it’s not a parody,” says Parisot (”Home Fries”), who nonetheless did research at a ”Trek” convention. ”In the end, it’s a celebration of fans.”

Especially the extraterrestrial ones. When an alien race in danger contacts the ”Galaxy Quest” cast for help, the stars must rise to the challenge. ”It’s a combination of terror, drama, and light comedy,” says Allen, who leads the team. ”It could easily have turned into ‘Spaceballs,’ and no one wanted that.”

For a while, however, it was unclear what the movie was going to be. Original director Harold Ramis (”Analyze This”) bailed over what producer Mark Johnson calls ”the famous Hollywood creative differences.” Says Parisot: ”We wanted to let the audience find the humor rather than bash them over the head with it.” But with Stan Winston creatures and over 300 CGI shots, don’t expect too much subtlety in this $60 million action-adventure. ”I’ve mostly [directed] people on earth,” deadpans Parisot, ”so this was new to me.”

Luckily, he had a mentor in frequent set visitor Steven Spielberg, who offered ”advice” on everything from casting to set design. Pretty nerve-racking, huh? ”It’s just like one director talking to another,” says Parisot. ”Okay, yeah, it’s a little nerve-racking.” BUZZ FACTOR: 4

Go to the official website.

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