Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The
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To gain a perspective of what kind of Douglas Adams fan I am, I should tell you that I own a genuine leather-bound, gold leaf trimmed edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide "Trilogy", plus I own all of the paperback versions of the Dirk Gently series. Great stuff! Sci-Fi Comedy, I believe, is a difficult genre to come by largely because sci-fi writers have a tendency to take themselves WAY too seriously (Disclaimer: this is my own, personal opinion, and not necessarily the view of bumscorner.com). I am sure that I am NOT QUITE as much of a fan as the two guys that were walking into the late showing of the movie dressed in bath robes with towels around their necks (seriously). With that said, onto The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie...
I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this movie for YEARS, but at the same time I have feared it because of the tendency of Hollywood studios to butcher my favorite books. With the sudden death of Douglas Adams in the middle of production I was not anticipating anything great. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how well done this movie was, especially considering the large amount of material that was packed into one hour and fifty minutes. The Hitchhiker's Guide is an electronic reference manual written by aliens who travel the galaxy in search of material. Entries in the Hitchhiker’s guide, done as short, hilarious, animated sequences, are shown during the movie to provide some explanations.
The characters in the movie were almost what I had imagined them to be while reading the book:
Arthur Dent, portrayed by Martin Freeman, is the classic, middle aged, tea-loving, single, squirrelly British guy. Arthur actually believes that he can stop a bulldozer from destroying his house to make way for a bypass by lying in front of it. Little does he know that none of it really matters since the earth is about to be destroyed. Oh, the poor, naive earthling!
Ford Prefect, portrayed by Mos Def, is an alien writer for The Hitchhiker's Guide who has been stranded on earth for 10 years. He hitches a ride on one of the Vogon ships as the earth is destroyed and takes his best friend, Arthur, with him. When reading the book I would have never imagined Ford as a black man, but Mos Def does a great job playing the quirky, adventurous alien.
Trillian (aka Tricia McMillan), portrayed by Zooey Deschanel, is the pretty yet nerdy earth girl who was once a love interest of Arthur's, but was swept away by the promise of interstellar adventure.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, portrayed by Sam Rockwell, is the hard partying, dim-witted, president of the galaxy who swept Trillian away from Arthur. In the book, Zaphod has two heads; a trick which I am sure would be rather difficult to pull off even with great special effects. In the movie, Zaphod has two faces, an effect that was adequate to pull off the character, but was annoying.
Marvin is the perpetually depressed robot on Zaphod's ship. His depression is so bad that it is actually contagious. Pathetic in a humorous sort of way!
The Vogons are the big, fat, nasty alien race who destroys the earth to make way for an inter-stellar bypass.
Those who have read the book will appreciate the presence of the Babbelfish, Pan-galactic Gargle Blaster, Vogon poetry, dolphins, and mice.
If you go into this movie with an open mind you will not be disappointed! Those hard core fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide book who expect the movie to be EXACTLY like the book will be let down. My husband, who had never read any of the Douglas Adams books, enjoyed the movie immensely and actually laughed more than I did.
While the movie is nearly two hours long, it seemed to fly by. At the end, though the story was complete, I wanted more. If you just sit back and enjoy the ride, you will enjoy the places this movie will take you.
Added: Sunday, May 01, 2005
Related Link: The Official Movie Website
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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