That other great British Sci-Fi comedy movie

Spoilers below.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (PG)

Naturally, this being the film it was, and it being a preview and all, a lot of the audience were Hitchhikers fans. Especially the ones that cheered when “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” was mentioned at the end. And the fact we all clapped at the end.

Bluntly, this film was fantastic for the most part, but crap in moments. The whole added plot about Humma, for example, was badly executed and completely pointless. The Deep Thought scene was in the wrong place, nothing like the book, and Helen Mirren isn’t Deep Thought. Sorry, people think I’m sexist when I say I think Deep Thought is male, but it is! The book says “a voice rich, resonant and deep”. OK, it’s the deep bit which suggests male to me, but I wasn’t impressed by it. And it wasn’t in that nice office.

I’ll get the moaning over first, and praise all the good bits later. So – casting. Martin Freeman was excellent as Arthur Dent. I couldn’t picture it before I saw it. Zooey Deschanel improved after being kidnapped. But Sam Rockwell (Zaphod) and Mos Def (Ford Prefect) were awful choices. They were both OK, but neither were stunning as their parts. Obviously, this could depend on what you think they’re like. I’ve only read the books (deliberately) so I don’t know if they’re like the TV or Radio versions. Everyone else, marvellous. Stephen Fry was excellent as expected, Marvin was so depressed, and don’t Bill Nighy and John Malkovich look similar?

Anyhow, on to the film proper. It’s very well done, the attention to detail is astounding, and very Douglas Adams like. I mean a vogon Fire Exit sign… The scenes inside Magrathea were lovely, and I’m going to sit at the front on Monday so I can immerse myself. IMAX version please! The music was excellent (apart from thefilmworks usual crappy sound system going wrong half way through) and, to be honest, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

As usual with films I really love, I find it impossible to say all I love about it, just highlight the bad bits. So sorry, all I can say is that it was excellent. 9/10, one missing for the points highlighted above.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

This review first appeared here, and appears courtesy of me.

18 Responses to That other great British Sci-Fi comedy movie

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  1. Excellent. I’m off to see it on the 28th, so hopefully I won’t think it sucks big cock either. I’m nervous, though.

    > I’ve only read the books (deliberately) so I don’t know if they’re like the TV or Radio versions.

    I love the books, but I think the radio series is a lot better.

  2. I will have to listen sometime. I’ve never listened, purely as I didn’t want to ruin my perceptions of the characters.

    I’m off to see it on the 28th as well… 14:40… And I still can’t wait.

  3. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will probably go sometime on Thursday. Looks good from the trailers and what I’ve heard from other people.

  4. LALALALALALALALAnotreadingthisLALALALALALA

  5. Well I’m reading it to you now! Hitchhikers Hitchhikers Hitchhikers!

  6. Despite the fact that it’ll be released here earlier than over there in the WESTERN Hemisphere (thanks to timezones) I won’t see it on the Thursday. I’ll probably watch it on Saturday when it’s convenient.

  7. I have nothing else to do on Thursdays, so it’s extremely convenient for me :)

  8. I just saw it. Please somebody else agree with me that it was horrible. The characters were altered too much. The CGI and music were superb, but the acting was largely below standard.

    Helen Mirren isn’t Deep Thought, I agree, though I don’t think Deep Thought need be male. But also, Martin Freeman was a very unconvincing Arthur. And Mos Def made me look very silly for saying ‘He’ll be a fantastic Ford’ for a year. Marvin wasn’t nearly depressed enough for my money. He was slightly pissed off. I really thought every part was badly cast. Except Trillian, but she had a shower scene for no real reason.

    I admire the spirit of whoever decided to rip out so many lines of Douglas Adams’ most fondly remembered work and replace it with his own episodes where Arthur rescues his girlfriend, Marvin saves the crew and Arthur conveniently falls in love with the only female character. But he wants a slap. Pieces of classic Hitchhikers grafted onto lousy fanscripts. Also, mice saying ‘bollocks’ isn’t funny. Four Adams books and two radio series were funny. They should have used some of that.

    Sorry about that rant but it was yell at you people or lose a few friends. Please disregard.

  9. Yes, Naughty Douglas Adams rewriting his own story and messing it up. Tut tut.

    The guy who did the other writing on the script apparently only tightened it up, all the new ideas came from Adams. You might think me silly for believing that, but I do.

    I have now heard two packed cinema’s laughing at mice saying bollocks. So it must have a certain amount of comedy value.

    It’s interesting that it’s the people who have seen the TV Series that seem to hate the movie most. An omen for Dwarf, maybe?

  10. I thought it was good, but with a few major flaws.

    I’ll COPY FLIBBLE and do a review later tonight.

  11. It was so good you had to change your mind, eh?

  12. Well, for the past few months I’ve had mixed feelings for and against the film depending on what I’d just read. And on watching it, the film makes me feel exactly the same!

  13. Not long since got back from seeing this. I have to say I enjoyed it. There were a few points that could have been covered better (babel fish for example) but all in all quite entertaining.

  14. >I admire the spirit of whoever decided to rip
    >out so many lines of Douglas Adams’ most
    >fondly remembered work and replace it with
    >his own episodes [among which] Marvin >saves the crew…

    It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but wasn’t this scene in the book? I seem to recall the crew being attacked on Magrathea in a similar way, and all of the attackers falling down dead…because Marvin depressed their ship so much that it committed suicide.

    So this isn’t a “new episode” for the movie, it’s still there, but split into two parts (the ship’s navigation system–I think–committing suicide and then Marvin depressing the attackers).

  15. It….. seems so. And it seems Adams did indeed write the new material. I am quite the twat.

    I still didn’t care for most of it though. And the mice sdaying bollocks isn’t at all funny. I stand by that one.

  16. Fear not, Chris. And I agree with you about the mice. But as soon as I posted my comment I decided to do a review that deals, mainly, with the differences between the two mediums, and what each was trying to accomplish.

    http://www.phil-reed.com/2005/05/01/review-hitchhikers-guide-film/

    If anyone’s interested. It’s much longer than I intended. Which means it’s sufficiently nerdy to be posted here.

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