Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is, in its original format, a trilogy in five parts. It follows the outlandish adventures of Arthur Dent after an alien race called the Vogons blows up the earth. In the film, Arthur Dent is rescued from sharing Earth’s explosive fate by a friend who turns out to be an alien. Through a series of ridiculous circumstances, both he and Ford wind up on a ship called the Heart of Gold, captained by the “kidnapped” president of the galaxy who is determined to, ultimately, discover the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.
This is not a good movie, per se. What in Douglas Adams’ writing was sly and witty falls flat on screen; but, that doesn’t mean Hitchhiker’s Guide isn’t enjoyable. The performances, particularly those by Martin Freeman, Alan Rickman, and Sam Rockwell, are spot on. There are scenes that resonate, there characters that entertain, and there are lines that make you think. It is safe to say, however, that the book was better.
The problem is that the movie doesn’t try to add anything to the story. It doesn’t make motivations clearer or situations more concrete, it doesn’t try to make the material its own and, as a result, merely manages to make a pale copy of the original.
Nevertheless, I have watched Hitchhiker’s Guide countless times and still catch myself humming, “So long, and thanks for all the fish” on occasion. If you do end up watching the movie, I would recommend reading the book too. At least forty-two times.
Available for rent or purchase on Amazon.com and iTunes. (picture was wrapped in a lemon and smashed with a brick before it was stolen from the BBC)