What a surprisingly good film! Sci-fi stories, by their very nature are difficult to make into successful comedies but this is a rare example of how to do it perfectly.
This film is a genuine masterpiece. It sends up shows like Star Trek and Babylon 5 very cleverly without ever deteriorating into clumsy, high school camp parody.
Everyone has seen some Star Trek episodes at some time in their lives and this helps with the in-jokes.
Tim Allen plays a character that William Shatner will recognise, probably with some slight discomfort. The rest of the crew are top notch also, especially Alan " I am an ac-torrrr" Rickman and Sigourney Weaver who looked stunning.
The basic premise is that the cast of a long cancelled sci-fi romp series, Galaxy Quest, are reduced to appearing at fan conventions for a living. They feel degraded, bored and dislike each other and their persistant fans in varying degrees. Except "Commander Taggart" whose egotism allows him to revel in the attention these conventions bring the main star.
However, all things change when some typically quirky fans turn out to be Thermians who need the Galaxy Quest crew to help turn the tide in a cosmic war that they are losing to a lizard race. Having picked up the TV transmissions and thinking them to be documentaries, the Thermians re-create the ship of the series for real and take the disbelieving cast up to crew it.
Finally realising the predicament they are in, the cast try to get away except "Taggart" whose ego knows he can do it for real. The crew finally have no choice but to go along with it. The Thermians have painstakingly recreated the ship in every detail from the series. The helm controls work exactly as they appeared to do in the series, the weapons arrays are fired by the same buttons, etc. The cast merely have to remember what they did in the show to make it all work!
Even their quarters and food is the same, which is a shame for the alien Dr. Lazarus character.
The story pans out like a typical episode and the crew save the day in the end of course.
But this was so well done. The effects, expected to be low budget and cheesey, were superb. The script was excellent - witty and fast paced.
I don't know why this didn't do better at the cinema. It is one of the best spoofs ever made and is a must see film.