The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Synopsis: Don’t Panic

Here’s the absolutely hysterical, wonderfully wild, cosmic adventure comedy The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Based on Douglas Adams’ worldwide best-selling novel, and starring an outrageous intergalactic cast, this is one ride you don’t want to miss. Seconds before Earth is destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace express route, mild-mannered Arthur Dent is whisked into space by his best friend (an alien posing as an out-of-work actor). And so the misadventures begin as he and fellow travelers, including the cool but dim-witted President of the Galaxy, the Earth girl Trillian, and Marvin the paranoid android, search for answers to the mystery of Life, the Universe and Everything.
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 6.5

I have yet to hear the original BBC radio show, or read the book, but I have seen the BBC miniseries a few times and I like it. This version of the Douglas Adams classic, however, is… um… a mixed bag.

On the plus side, the special effects are much more better than the BBC series (which was made in 1980-81). Some of the casting was more on the mark, for instance this Zaphod Beeblebrox was more appropriate (annoying, yes, but more like Adams had originally envisioned him). And I was pleasantly surprised that Martin Freeman was Arthur Dent – very nice!

On the down side, the special effects were pretty cheap-looking compared to their contemporaries, and this movie just might win this year’s George Lucas Award For CGI Abuse in my year-end list. Gosh that sucked. The casting was also off at times, such as Mos Def as Ford Prefect. Why is he even allowed to pretend to be an actor, anyway? He pretty much ruined ‘Be Kind Rewind’ even though it wouldn’t have been perfect without him in it.

I don’t know… I wanted to like the movie because I love Adams’ humour – it can be Pythonesque. But this version felt like a cheesy b-movie… with a budget. At least the BBC series was a cheesy production, so it excused (almost) everything.

I wish I could end this commentary with an appreciative “Thanks for all the fish”. Sadly, this movie floundered.

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