Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Review

I've never read Douglas Adam's uber-cult novels. I don't believe now that I'll ever bother, as I've been told that this filmed adaptation is quite faithful, and I found Hitchhiker's faux-quirkiness to be mannered, forced and inconsistent. The strongest performance is, luckily, the one at the center of the film. Martin Freeman is pretty terrific as Arthur Dent, the sad-sack Englishman taken off-world by his alien friend just seconds before Earth is blown to smithereens as a part of an intergalactic transit project of some sort.

They meet up with Zaphod (an unusually ineffective Sam Rockwell), the galaxy's President who has kidnapped himself. They clash with aliens who have no imaginations. Seems like they might have infected the filmmakers, to be honest.

Adams' screenplay is weak and underperforming when it comes to dialing up the absurdity. It can't quite seem to find the balance between quirky and satire. Garth Jennings, in his feature debut, proves to be a woefully uninspired director. His film has some visual pop, but it's a narrative and thematic mess, thrown together, lacking any authorial focus.


Anonymous Clavis said...

I'm a lifelong fan of Douglas Adams' work, and I must insist that the movie is an absolute travesty. It really is like a scene from one of those comedies about Hollywood, where a slimy producer says "Hey, let's do the Diary of Anne Frank as a romantic comedy!" or "Let's do the life story of Terry Schiavo as a rock musical!" because he thinks it will make money.

The movie seems to casually mention elements, characters and punchlines from the original book without any context or style. It's awful.

You may not like the books, but I assure you, if you don't, it will be for different reasons.

If you like Monty Python and Blackadder, you'll probably like Adams. That's the best I can do. If you do like both those things, ask yourself this: did the movie in ANY way resemble them? Think about it. Cheers.

9:09 AM  

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