Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Length: 109 minutes
Director: Garth Jennings
Writers: Douglas Adams & Karey Kirkpatrick, based on Adams’ book
Starring: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel
Music: Joby Talbot
Synopsis: one man is rescued from the destruction of the Earth
How I saw it: in the theater, 2005; on video several times (have on DVD), most recently yesterday
Story: Indifferent. Between squeezing three hours of material into a movie, and forcing a half-assed love story into it on top of that, it doesn’t have much chance.
Dialog: Good. It has an annoying habit of leaving out the punchlines of the jokes, which must be confusing for people who don’t know the source material and are expecting humor. But there are still quite a few great lines.
Special effects/design: Great.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good). The adaptation seems to miss the point most of the time, leaving out jokes and replacing them with Hollywood cliches. So, it’s not anywhere near as funny as it should be. But it’s still pretty fun. One thing it keeps intact is the sense of wonder; between the amazing special effects and Adams’ ridiculously huge ideas (which the mediocre script doesn’t quite squish in spite of itself), it can be pretty impressive – for the right audience. I can only imagine it would be a confusing mess to someone who hasn’t read the book, or (like me) listened to the original radio drama a million times.
Objective Rating: 2.9/4 (Good).