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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this fun, kid-friendly adventure includes some cartoonish sci-fi violence (some of it rather gross) and one sad death. Also, a character gets so drunk that he passes out and is then very hung over, and there are mild references to Allen's character sleeping "with every Terakian slave girl and moon princess" on the show.
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What's the story?
In this sci-fi spoof, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, and Sigourney Weaver play washed-up stars of a cheesy Star Trek-style show that ended nearly 20 years ago. Believing that the reruns they watched are real, a group of aliens head to Earth to ask for their help. The TV stars find themselves on a real-life replica of their television series spaceship, lovingly constructed by the aliens to replicate every detail from the show. Put in a real-life confrontation with a lizard-looking tyrant, the cast tries to remember lines and plots from old episodes to help them defeat him. The premise leads to hilarious lines and situations that play on both Star Trek and the actors' hang-ups. For example, Rickman's Spock/McCoy-hybrid character stares glumly at his alien gill make-up in the mirror and murmurs about the time he got five curtain calls as Richard III. Sigourney Weaver, the sexy Lt. Uhura equivalent, repeats everything the computer says. Tony Shaloub as the spaceship's Scottie-like mechanic and Sam Rockwell as the imperiled expendable officer also deliver hilarious lines.
Is it any good?
Sharply written and performed, this hilarious romp affectionately skewers television sci-fi, its stars, and its fans. Not since William Shatner told Trekkers Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz to "get a life" back on Saturday Night Live has there been such a sublime look at this world, reminding us that intelligence and humor are not mutually exclusive.
The fast, funny, and fresh script takes a terrific premise and unreels it in a tightly constructed farce that is filled with surprises. Perhaps the biggest one is that we really come to care about the characters.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: December 21, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: May 2, 2000
- Cast: Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Tony Shalhoub
- Director: Dean Parisot
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some action violence, mild language and sensuality
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.