Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Coming into the world as a radio play, expanded into books & then a TV series, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has finally made it to the big screen.

The basic plot is this: Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman from The Office and Love Actually) thinks he's having a bad day when some guys with heavy machinery want to demolish his house. He soon finds out that his mate Ford is an alien who came to Earth to do research for the Guide, and that the whole planet is scheduled for demolition. Ford hitches the two of them a ride on one of the demonlition fleet & they begin an adventure across the galaxy that'll mess with the best laid plans of mice, men & Vogons.

You've either read the book or you probably know someone who has. If you're the former, and a purist, you might have issues with the film; new characters & plot points and the ending. If you're the latter, or like me you haven't read the books in a few years, you should have a good time with it. I did.

The flash-like animation of the Guide worked for me and Stephen Fry handles the narration perfectly (as if he wouldn't). I also liked the cameos by the cast of the TV series (Marvin was queueing for the Vogons and Simon Jones appeared as the recorded message as the crew approached Magrathea). Adams' head appears as the last improbable image before the credits. Sam Rockwell is how I imagined Zaphod Beeblebrox, moreso than the guy they had in the TV series (maybe it had something to do with the crappy second head). Bill Nighy's Slartibartfast is very cool.

The closest thing on Earth that you'll find to a real Hitchhiker's Guide is the Wikipedia. It's entry on the Hitchhiker's Guide is here.

Margaret & David "had a wonderful time with this film".

The (UK) Register didn't mind it, but wasn't blown away.

Fenella Kernebone on SBS' Movie Show was disappointed.


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Rated: PG
Running Time: 110 min.
Where: Greater Union, Civic, ACT, Cinema 1, 18:50 session, 29 Apr 05.
Cinema condition: Good.
Audience Reaction: Good.

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