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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Review

Published April 29, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Touchstone
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy John Malkovich got a small but humorous part.
After months of guessing on whether The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy could meet the expectation laid down by the Douglas Adams book [and avid fans], I finally have an answer to the ultimate question… and it still is 42.

The Guide to the Hitchhiker's Guide

The Touchstone film The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, based off of the first book in a series by Douglas Adams [same title], is the tale of guy loses planet, guy finds girl once lost, guy regains another planet. Pretty simple huh? Well, there is a little more to it-add a bunch of silliness and we are there.

The great part about the Adams novels is that they convey a great amount of humor, brilliant silliness, and a wonderful sense of imagination. I figured that this would be nearly impossible to convey accurately on film… and I was right. While the film did have a couple of great moments, I continuously found myself in wonder on why the film was missing in places where the book had me in stitches.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trillian is a cutie! Even though the love story was rough at best.
Now, do not get me wrong, the comedy in The Hitchhiker's Guide books relied on extreme creativity that took time to develop. For a film, you do not have the luxury of time, nor the time to explain everything. This is what hurt The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Anytime the film was ready to bring on the humor, it either had to hit the brakes to show off The Guide, or it had to omit the important details that actually made that scene funny.

So, instead of having us laugh, the scenes came across as almost too silly, too quick, or too confusing. Therefore, I laughed a lot less in the film than during the book. So, if you know nothing about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy before entering the theatre, you are either going to like it or hate it [notice I didn't say love it or hate it]. And to even like the film, you better not enter the theatre expecting anything remotely serious.

Also, if you did read the first novel in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there may be some additions that you won't particularly like. SPOILERS AHEAD. In the book, I do not remember that the second Earth was actually completed, or if any life was placed on it. Therefore, Arthur Dent remains to be one of the last survivors from the planet, or should I say computer, known as Earth. However, the film ends on a completely different note.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Can't say anything bad on the actors, they all played their roles well.
While I do admit that the final sequence to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was cool, it does something far different from the book [or so I think]. Instead of an Earth 2 being put on hold, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy shows the creation of a working replica of Earth along with the exact life forms that existed just seconds before the original Earth was destroyed. I did not like this ending, and would have rather left the next Earth as it was for life to have a chance to be re-born [through evolution and creation].

On a lighter note, I greatly enjoyed the roles played by all the characters. Martin Freeman was a good Arthur Dent, Mos Def played a surprisingly funny Ford Perfect [the eating and crying was hilarious], Sam Rockwell played a good Zaphod Beeblebrox, even though he was a little over the top at times, and Zooey Deschanel plays a cute as hell Trillian [I am in love with her big eyes].

Final Judgment: If you want a film you can take the kids to, or a film that is all about being silly, then The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may be right up your alley. However, if you want to witness a brilliant story with an amazing amount of creativity, you better stick to reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

For the trailers, movie clips, movie stills, and synopsis, go to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of Touchstone

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