Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Movie Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Last night I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with a couple friends. It was hilarious. Very faithful to the original book and the new elements added had the same tone as the novel (and radio series and TV show and game and….). A lot of the criticism from main-stream sources has hit the one problem with this film: it may be confusing to those who have not read the series. Douglas Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick (who finished the screenplay after Adams’s death) did a good job adding a more narrative structure to the story and inserting asides from The Guide for exposition purposes seamlessly with the original story. However with a story like this, familiarity with the source material is a clear help to understanding some of the jokes.

Fans of the BBC series will be delightfully surprised by some nods given to it by the directors. When viewers are first introduced to The Guide, the original theme music plays in the background. In a new scene (in a Vogon detention center), the TV Marvin can be seen. And the ghostly image that welcomes our heroes to Magrathea is Simon Jones (who played Arthur Dent in the BBC version). Unlike homages in other films, these are not blink-and-you-miss-them appearances, but prolonged cameos acknowledging the history of these characters.

From the opening sequence (featuring the delightful song “So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish”) to the final bow (stay till after the credits), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a hilarious adaptation of Adams’s well-loved trilogy in five parts. And remember: Never leave home without your towel. And Don’t Panic.

**** out of *****

UPDATE: A friend of mine just found this link on the Hitchhiker's website. If you want to hear the "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish" song, just click here.

Posted on the old blog 4/30/2005.

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