The cast of a hacky sci-fi TV show are recruited to help a race of aliens defend themselves.
Directed by Dean Parisot
Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman
Review by Jon Kissel
In the recent autobiographical documentary Val, Val Kilmer is shown struggling to stay engaged at a convention where fan after fan thrusts a Top Gun poster in front of him and asks him to sign it with his Iceman catchphrase. Kilmer had earlier remarked on how little he thought of Top Gun, dismissing it as a jingoistic puffball, but now, people are singling it out to talk with him as opposed to anything else he’s ever done. Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) knows this feeling as Galaxy Quest begins. We’ve just seen footage of his major credit played for an eager convention, and with its lot of corny effects and stilted acting, it’s not something anyone should be proud of. Dane certainly isn’t, but he has to economically rely on fans who like the show for reasons he cannot understand. Galaxy Quest engages with both sides of fan culture and lovingly satirizes it by imagining the most dedicated fans possible, which here are guileless aliens who’ve patterned their space-faring culture off a D-grade sci-fi series that likely aired at 11 on Saturday mornings between Looney Tunes reruns and Julia Child. Dean Parisot’s crowd-pleasing comedy acknowledges how silly and disposable parts of the culture can be, and still manages to make the same ephemera affecting in the exact scenario.
Superhero franchises in the early 21st century could not seem to make their third entries work. Spider-Man 3 was overstuffed and cringey while X-Men 3 turned to hackiest hack Brett Ratner. Blade Trinity fits squarely within that pattern but worse, as it’s a film enslaved to current trends in blockbuster movies and music with an eye toward future sequels and a lack of any motivating factor beyond the quest for more money. The two earlier Blade films at least had a minimal amount of underlying drama, whereas this is all meaningless snark and commerce. Blade Trinity exists for the funny behind-the-scenes nonsense, at least if Patton Oswalt is to be believed, and that’s about all the entertainment value provided by this pathetic limp to the end credits.
Blade might’ve kicked off the superhero movie craze, but it didn’t take long for its sequel to trade inspiration for imitation. Blade 2, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, sticks with the characters and tone of the original while heavily incorporating the style of The Matrix and Del Toro’s particular affinity for creature effects and body horror. It also is a classic sequel with all the expected advancements, like a deadlier enemy, a deeper world, and a larger cast of distinctive characters. This is a film whose strong reputation doesn’t justify the actual result, especially with how derivative so much of it is, but it does mark Del Toro’s emergence as a singular sculptor of weird appendages and an acolyte of Ray Harryhausen and David Cronenberg. The best result from Blade 2 is that it allowed Del Toro to level up his own career and make films better than this solid and silly entrée into future passion projects.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.
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