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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- movie review (1 Viewer)

Reilly Hall

Senior Member
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- movie review

Fans of this story, which has appeared as a book, mini-series, record and stage play, will be happy to catch some references that others, who are unfamiliar with it, may not. Aside from this, they are likely to be disappointed.

In most cases, it is best not to compare a movie to the book is comes from, since most likely, content is omitted, and the movie should be judged solely of itself. In this particular case, one doesn’t have to have read the book to see that something is missing. Jokes are thrown at the viewer and taken away before they can even be absorbed. If you haven’t watched the original series, you can find yourself lost and bored, since you don’t quite get what the hell everyone’s talking about.

Also, I would have rather seen more of the actual Hitchhiker’s Guide entries, since they give us a break from the plot and, for the most part, are fairly interesting. Instead, they toss definitions of events and creatures during sections of other scenes, where we aren’t sure which to pay attention to.

Now, the movie isn’t entirely without merit. There’s a decent cast that does the best with what they’ve been given. Sam Rockwell plays Zaphod Beeblebrox, the sleazy president of the universe, perfectly. John Malkovich plays the short role of Humma Kavula, and the even shorter role of Marvin is played by Warwick Davis (Leprechaun, Willow). The story is also interesting, if you don’t mind it rushing by.

***Spoilers***

Just what in the hell happened to Sam Rockwell’s head? Malkovich takes the poor guy’s second melon as incentive to return, but after, at no point in the film, does Sam try to get it back!

Fans of the first series, keep an eye open when the crew are waiting in line to rescue Trillian; the original manically-depressed robot shows up. Also, Simon Jones, the original Arthur Dent, plays the “ghostly answering-machine head”.
 

Logik

Member
probably meant "it" here
movie to the book is comes from

I think the whole series is like this though. The BBC radio shows were quite a bit different than the books. It seems each iteration of the story is a little bit different than the rest. So comparing anything with the books or what have you seems to be moot. You need to know coming into the theatre that you shouldn't think of it in terms of the book or any other versions you've seen, heard or read.

I don't see this so much as a review after the first 2 paragraphs. It kind of goes into a personal opinion in the spoilers section. Also seems to be missing a bit of meat in the review.

I would almost goto a site like "Reel.com" or something along those lines.. take a look at some of the reviews and see what kind of material to give.

I think the biggest thing you're missing here is a bit of background for people who have never heard of it. It's as if you're talking to only an audience who is familiar with it.
 

waylander

Senior Member
I guess I could just put in my own modest review of the first book of the series, in order for some here who would not be familiar with the jokes to get a foretaste of this brilliantly funny book. Here it goes :

Let's say first that this book uses common Science-fiction themes but it is one of the best parodies, if not the best one that this genre has spawned so far. It makes one think of a version of a Monty Python's sketch including characters from Star Wars, sometimes addressing serious philosophical issues like: 'Where are we from ? What is the meaning of life ? and what have we got for lunch ?'

If you are lost in Tolkien-like lenghty sagas with countless characters bearing fancy names like Balin, Mithrandir, Galadriel, stunned by exotic places you can never remember the names of, such as Esgaroth or Osgiliath, bored by door-blockers 1500-pages thick, you will be relieved by the singular lack of heroes in this (very) short book. There are four of the formers (heroes) and 216 for the latter (pages).

The main figure in this handful of protagonists is an Earthling called Arthur Dent. Mostly harmless, he is saved by his friend Ford Prefect from a very unpleasant situation : i.e. : the definite destruction of his planet, which happened to be the one we all live on, and this because it stands in the way of a new soon-to-be-useless galactic Highway.

Arthur faces destruction twice on the same day : that of the Earth, and a little before, that of his own house, standing in the way of a new Londonian soon-to...highway ? We all know that a comic effect is sometimes (most often, really) induced by repetition, and this is a good example of it.

What about the title of the book ? It turns out that this Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy is owned by Ford Prefect, who has been stranded on Earth for 10 years and who is in charge of updating the guide, being an alien himself. It is full of perfectly useless junk which seems of the utmost importance for alien tourists. Its most famous piece of advice when unexpected situations are met : 'DON'T PANIC !'

Of course, there are also deeply reflective moments such as the one when the answer to 'Life the Universe and Everything' is given. It may be a little disappointing for us ordinary readers and if you don't know it yet, I won't tell you. Have you ever wondered a bit more than three seconds about mice ? You know, the little furry things with a cheese fixation ? You will discover in the book that they are to be feared !!

Don't read that book if you just wonder about all the ball-point pens that you mysteriously seem to lose all the time, the answer to their weird disppareance could come as a bit of a shock and I would not be held responsible of anything whatsoever. You have been warned !

waylander
 

Reilly Hall

Senior Member
My main point with the review was that although all versions of the story are a little different, the movie is the only one so far that I felt you can't watch without hving knowledge of the others.

The mini-series=standalone

Radio play=standalone

The book... 'nuff said

But the movie! Holy crow, the sheer amount of in-jokes

Also, I tend to make reviews short, before people lose interest. Most people throw the entire plot into their writing, which kind of defeats the purpose of seeing the movie.

Also, most reviews are opinion. (Although I do understand what you're saying, and I typically try to use fact instead of personal bias as to whether of not to see something.)
 

PaPa

Senior Member
I know what you mean about the jokes being cut short. A lot of the time I ended up filling in the rest of the joke in my head, and sometimes they kept one part of a joke but left out the main punchline. It was so annoying.
 

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