Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (movie)

Alright. How was it? Well, let’s just start off with this: The phrase “never speak to me about this movie again” is not applicable. The phrase “it had its moments” is. Care to see more detail? Come inside. Spoilers, as always, inside ugly font tags.


For Production info, please see IMDB

High Point

Marvin. Absolutely, Marvin was perfect. My wife swears he was just too cute, but Alan Rickman’s voice just completely made the character. I have a few other points that are NEAR high, but not quite top – the point where they enter Magrathea’s factory floor was a close second, and the dolphin’s song and dance number was unexpected and entertaining. In fact, I’d say it was the only major addition to the story that didn’t feel like it was inserted without any regard for the original plot.

Low Point

Where do I begin? Well, really, there are only a few that qualify as REAL low points. First, the casting of Ford Prefect. Mos Def was HORRIBLE. No sense of timing, no comedic skill, and a complete lack of understanding of the character. Second, the love story between Arthur and Trillian. Aside from the fact that it was unnecessary, it felt shoehorned in and was handled with complete incompetence from a writing perspective. Oh. In fact, nearly every addition to the story that was new to the story felt like that. The ending where they put the earth back as it was, the “let’s steal zaphod’s head and send them off on a side quest for a something that’s going to save them” bit, the “let’s completely change the way the galaxy is run” bit. Bah..

The Review

Alright, so I’ve already had my little rants. Let’s start with what they did right. For all that we’ve heard about “they forgot it was supposed to be a comedy” that we’ve heard, the truth is, they didn’t forget. Completely. Part of the problem – a lot of it, actually, was Mos Def’s complete inability to be funny. Flailing around and acting weird is not “alien” or “funny”. Ford was funny mostly because he was sarcastic and extraordinarily relaxed, even when heavily weird. But they did TRY to be funny. All the bits from the book were, again, done fairly well. While I may prefer the graphic style from the tv series, the graphic style for the movie was reminiscent and, nicely enough, presented what we might actually imagine the user interface for book like the Guide to look like. The voice of the book hearkens back to the original series’ and Arthur does a fairly good job of being confused, bemused, and attempting to grow without actually really doing so – except where the aforementioned love story takes place and he has lines to deliver that are almost as bad as the love story between Anakin and Amidala in Episode 2. Yes. That bad.

Marvin, as I said, was perfect. Something about that little robot with that weary, depressed voice – it was too perfect. Alan Rickman knows Marvin, and manages to turn in a performance anyone can get behind while managing to not simply mimic the original voice.

Vogons. Vogons, too, were perfect. Completely bound by forms, bureaocracy, and general ill-temperedness, they managed to be unpleasant and formidable without being evil. The lunch break was the perfect touch.

What did they do wrong? Well – they start out strong, but suddenly the original material seems…more like a guide. Pun intended. Veering off on tangents – rescue missions, love stories, turning up at planets for no explainable reason just to start a sub-plot that doesn’t really go anywhere – so many things that they could have done, but they decided to mix things up, change things around. And somehow, in the end, it has a LESS satisfying finish than the book! I think I knew there were going to be problems as soon as Ford came rolling down the road with a cart full of beer and then proceeded to take Arthur to the pub. What genius wrote THAT?

The Scores

Originality? You’ve got to be kidding me. Even if I could give it full marks after being the movie from a book from a radio show with a TV production already on DVD, the hackneyed Hollywood crap they threw in here to make it “accessible” absolutely kills any last vestiges of claim they have to it. 1/6

The Effects were excellent. If you want to SEE the story as never before, by all means, go see this movie. A lot of the effects were gratuitous, but they were still good. On point that bothered me was Zaphod’s arm – it was more than slightly off. Knocking a point for that – something they should have gotten right or left off considering what they did with his head (shudder), 5/6

The Story falls below even the standard set for the Guide’s previous incarnations. The added sub-plots and side plots make for a convoluted, incomprehensible mess. 2/6

You already know my feelings about Ford, but the rest of the Acting was fairly good. Zooey Deschanel has more than one moment that just falls flat, but on the whole she’s better than the blonde from the Show. Zaphod – well, he’s just this guy, you know? Unfortunately, he’s played as this REALLY STUPID GUY. I’ll give Sam Rockwell the benefit of the doubt and suggest that this was a directing issue, not an acting issue. Slartibartfast was *perfect*, Arthur was acceptable, and many of the minor characters were on the money. We have a case here where the minor actors were far better at their roles than the major ones. (if only they’d taken *my* advice for Arthur and Ford…). I give the acting 3/6. For the sake of the minor characters.

The Production was, for the most part, quite good. Unfortunately, directing falls under this category, and most of the problems I saw were either writing or directing. However, I can’t take away all their points because they did do an excellent job with the designs – I’ll even forgive the fact that the Heart of Gold looked like a golfball instead of a running shoe. It was still pretty. 3/6.

The Emotional Response – well, it was a cross between disgust, amusement, and relief, really. My amusement should have been higher, my disgust should have been lower, and my relief should have been MUCH higher…but there you are. The one that counts here, though, is humor – and that’s, sadly, only a 4/6 for this one, folks.

Overall – well, overall, this only really rates a 2/6. Don’t go see it unless you’re a die-hard Hitchhiker’s Guide fan, OR – if you have no familiarity or attachment to the books in the first place. And even then don’t expect much. Bah.

In total, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (movie) recieves 20 out of 42. I really wish it were higher. But I’m really glad it’s not lower.

Additional Comments

It’s been a great week reviewing these with you, everyone. I wish I could’ve ended on a higher note – but I’ll be back, with new and interesting things. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

23 replies on “Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (movie)”

  1. y42 says:

    It was much better than what I anticipated

    First, the casting of Ford Prefect. Mos Def was HORRIBLE. No sense of timing, no comedic skill, and a complete lack of understanding of the character.

    Thank you.
    I have previously stated my views on tokenism. This is why I feel that way. They needed to include a black guy (that is tokenism: to create the illusion of lack of racism by way of positive racism… why so many people fail to see the irony of this escapes me), and so they sacrificed one of the major characters in casting this person, whom I’m told has done good work in other movies I have not seen (after seeing him completely miss Ford’s character though, I’m starting to suspect that was meant as ‘a really good actor, for a rapper’).

    He wasn’t right for the role, and the guy you indicated as your choice obviously seems to be a much better choice, but he wouldn’t bring in the demographics Mos Def does. We still went to see it even though he was very bad at this gig, I’ll most probably aquire the DVD upon it’s release, even though Ford sucked, BUT there are many people in his fan club… people who maybe wouldn’t have gone to see this odd sci-fi comedy. They will go, for him. So, as a business decision, it was right. But artistically, it was wrong to give him this role.

    My personal second low point, aside from Ford being !Ford, was the dolphins returning to Earth MarkII, that’s a BIG deviation from the book if you ask me.

    Now some positive: I like that Zaphod called him “Ix, I mean er… Ford, was it?” or something to that effect. That was a cute nod to fans of the books.
    And I liked the Improbability effects, I was wondering how they would do them, and it worked quite well, in my humble opinion (though I agree with you on the arm).
    Marvin: Perfect.
    And The Gun: Cute, and it’s use near the end: Amazingly Douglas Adams-y, it would have brought a tear to my eye had I not been laughing so hard.

    • y42 says:

      half right
      Oh, and hitch, please find it in your heart of [Au] to give them an extra point in the “overall”, because I’d like us to agree: I give it 21 out of 42 ;-)

      • y42 says:

        It’s the last time, I promise, I’ll go sleep now

        Oh, and hitch, please find it in your heart of [Au] to give them an extra point in the “overall”, because I’d like us to agree: I give it 21 out of 42 ;-)

        Give it to them for the VERY cool nod to the TV series when they introduce the guide after the destruction of the Earth, I found that very, very gratifying. Possibly a plus in the Emotional Response rather than the Overall… I don’t want to tell you how to do this reviewing you do, I like it the way you do it as it is, but… come ON, that was awesome! That and the robot in line on Vog Sphere, though they showed him too much, it’d had been better with a tad more subtlety, it’s still a lil’ gift for an old fanboy like me.

        • Timeshredder says:

          mostly harmless

          I made my general remark in the tv show thread last night. Yeah, it was amusing. Yeah, the gun was kinda funny.

          But why does Hollywood do this? They take a very funny piece with a strong following, and gut it of what made it so worthwhile in the first place. The beginning really had me thinking that they were going to get it right: the dolphin bit, and the general fidelity to the source material. Marvin, as you said, was great, and even our introduction to Infinite Improbability, while not as good as the original, was amusing.

          Then, with so much material to choose from, they go in a new and unnecessary direction forty-five or so minutes in that requires them to introduce new material that’s not nearly as funny. It’s bad enough that the movie necessarily has to cut so much, but the new stuff?

          What I liked about the original incarnations was the dark edge of the humour, and that’s largely missing.

          Oogh. I’ll let you know if it comes up for discussion at GenreCon today….

    • Raonaild says:

      Re: It was much better than what I anticipated
      With all the bad reviews and grief this movie has been taking from fans, I had half a mind to not see it. But I grew up with HHG in all its incarnations, could quote large passages from memory, and I started to feel very guilty about turning my back on something DNA had spent half his life trying to realise. So, I went and saw it tonight, in honour of him if for no other reason.

      On the whole, I liked it. Yes, it’s different that the other versions, but it actually had more of the original dialog in it than I was expecting from reading the reviews. Even the “new stuff” was generally based on background material from one of the other incarnations. Scenes were mixed up and moved around, but that’s happened in all the different versions, I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

      I do agree that Ford was disappointing, he went through the motions for some classic Ford scenes at the beginning, but was completely overshadowed by the other characters after they joined the Heart of Gold. The rest of the cast did well enough.

      I’ve heard complaints that the movie was too frantic and fast paced. I thought it was actually a little slow at times compared to other versions, particularly the radio plays. I would’ve liked to see more Guide entries, to fill more of the spaces with interesting but useless background material. As for whether the movie was funny … I laughed a few times, most people in the theatre with me did. But it’s hard for me to say, relative to the other versions, whether this one was more or less funny – I’ve seen/heard/read the originals so many times, did the jokes fall flat in this version because they weren’t delivered correctly, or because I already knew what was coming.

      At the end of the movie, rather than staring at my watch hoping it would be over soon, I found myself wanting more, which I didn’t expect. I hope they do a sequel or four.

    • jayhawk88 says:

      Re: It was much better than what I anticipated
      I have previously stated my views on tokenism. This is why I feel that way. They needed to include a black guy…

      You know I’m sorry, but as if there has never been a white actor who slimed his way into a role he had no earthly business playing, stumbled through filming, and ended up sucking despite the best efforts of post production?

      I’ve not seen the movie yet myself, but if it is indeed true that Mos Def sucks as Ford Perfect, why is it not possible that he just sucked as an actor in this particular role? Why does it have to be because of tokenism or reverse racism or whatever you want to call it?

      Seriously, what’s the insinuation here? No black man could have played Ford Perfect because any black man chosen would have been chosen for reasons of tokenism? Any White man would have been great at Ford Perfect because it’s so natural to cast a white man in the role?

      • y42 says:

        I see dumb people… they’re everywhere!

        I have previously stated my views on tokenism. This is why I feel that way. They needed to include a black guy…

        You know I’m sorry, but as if there has never been a white actor who slimed his way into a role he had no earthly business playing, stumbled through filming, and ended up sucking despite the best efforts of post production?

        I Never said that. I’m sure there have been several, in fact.

        I’ve not seen the movie yet myself, but

        But you are in the mood to spew prejudiced opinions. You have a ready-made opinion of people who don’t have their head in the sand and who aren’t affraid to say words like “tokenism”. Grow up.

        if it is indeed true that Mos Def sucks as Ford Perfect, why is it not possible that he just sucked as an actor in this particular role? Why does it have to be because of tokenism or reverse racism or whatever you want to call it?

        He didn’t suck because of tokenism, you mindless drone, he GOT THE PART because of tokenism, despite the fact that he obviously wasn’t the best choice to play that role.

        He said lines that got nothing but silence from the audience. Lines that when spoken by someone else in the past got my sides aching from laughter. He. Just. Didn’t. Get it.

        Seriously, what’s the insinuation here? No black man could have played Ford Perfect because any black man chosen would have been chosen for reasons of tokenism? Any White man would have been great at Ford Perfect because it’s so natural to cast a white man in the role?

        I seriously believe Chris Rock could have pulled it off.
        Watch him in Dogma, he can do a smart, sarcastic out-of-this world character and have a strong screen presence. Mos Def just blurts out lines and runs around waving a towel.

        And how much mind-numbing indoctrination into a culture of hypocritical racism did you go through to end up inducing from my lamentations over one individual’s inaptitude that it would mean that I believe that ANY individual from another race would have been better?

        That wasn’t what I said. You have not read this in my post, since I have never expressed such an abject thought, but you concocted that “implication” in your mind. Why? Why are you so eager to label me as white supremacist? Because you feel that way and you are projecting this on others? Because I do not limit my views to those that are politically correct or easily labeled? Because you are unable to imagine the possibility of someone thinking something that wasn’t taught in an afterschool special?

        Here’s the deal, you loathesome homonculus: Mos Def is the only proeminent black guy in this movie. He is BAD at interpreting the role he was given. And movie making is a business: It attemps to make a product that will have the most mass market appeal possible, in order to increase shareholder value.
        In my informed opinion, after reviewing his performance and observing the trends in moviemaking destined for American consumption of the past century (including the boycott campaign instuted against Star Wars by angry black folks that couldn’t cope with the mostly-white cast of A New Hope), Mos Def was cast for his popularity in a target demographic that was sorely lacking without his inclusion. The overall effect on the movie is to lessen its level of quality, but to augment its attractiveness to the masses, therefore sacrificing artistic value for monetary gain. Paraphrasing C.R.: I’m not saying I would have cast the same guy, but I understand…

        So, to summarise:
        Mos Def, outside of HHGTTG is unknown to me, but objectionable within it.
        Race is a touchy subject, and I happen to speak MY mind on it, not the party line that I have been fed. If you fail to see one of the only 2 stances you are able to fanthom on this subject within my posts, the failing is with you, not me.
        Tokenism is a real phenomenon, it was given a name because it was observed.
        I think Chris Rock would have been able to pull off the character that Mos Def couldn’t, but I would have prefered if they had NOT changed this detail from the radio show, the TV series, and the books, for this movie. They have characters in there that have no strong past history of great performances, mostly by way of being new. Cast the role of the cyborg vilain to a black man, or to Malkovich, I couldn’t care less, but if you need to include at least One Required Black Person (and in this business, you do), do it with a role that isn’t already well entrenched in people’s mind with a precise look, and give that person a role they are well suited for at least! You think it’s gonna do any good to Mos Def’s career or mental health to be known from now on as “that guy that couldn’t play Ford Prefect right”? I don’t!

        Calling a duck a duck is something I do, unapologetically. I see tokenism: I call it tokenism. I’m not the one who kills off the only black guy in the first half of most horror movies! You want to dish out nonsensical abuse at someone over tokenism: Do it at them!

  2. codejnki says:

    Massivly dissapointed
    I for one am massivly dissapointed with this version. I feel that the BBC mini-series did a better job of staying true to the source material than this movie does.

    For me one of the greatest things about the HHG is the back and forth banter between characters and the comentary that the guide entries offers. I found myself sitting there laughing at the slap-stick gags and not once at the dialog. Familar dialog which I can quote from memory being cut short and chopped to bits to me is a complete discredit to the orignal works. I feel that if you aren’t going to stick to the orignal dialog don’t even start with it.

    I was holding out hope till the Babelfish guide entry. When the entry cut out the entire proof of the non-existance of God sequence I realized that things had taken a turn for the worse.

  3. redshadow says:

    Your all Daft
    Ok first off all the points where I agree with you all. Alan Rickman was perfect. Dead on 100%. Love story tacked on would have played much better it were more tension less sap. Vogons were everything I imagined. And the guild was done exceptionally well.

    Where I disagree. Mos Def did a great job as Ford Prefect. I’ll admit he played him a little too close to his character in the Italian Job, but on the whole I really liked it. Going down the list of Ford Prefects character… Cool Cat- Check, A little slow on the Uptake – Check , “Galaxywise” – Check, Ready to charge into danger with just his towel – Check! Maybe i’m wrong and it was the towel doing all the acting but I think most of you saw other people in the role and were going to hate his acting no matter what.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Your all Daft

      Where I disagree. Mos Def did a great job as Ford Prefect. I’ll admit he played him a little too close to his character in the Italian Job, but on the whole I really liked it. Going down the list of Ford Prefects character… Cool Cat- Check, A little slow on the Uptake – Check , “Galaxywise” – Check, Ready to charge into danger with just his towel – Check! Maybe i’m wrong and it was the towel doing all the acting but I think most of you saw other people in the role and were going to hate his acting no matter what.

      You know the part in the airlock where he sees buttons and fiddles with them, only to discover they don’t do anything?

      In all previous incarnations he made up the button because even when he’s about to die, he still jokes around. Here, he was just ignorant and hopefull, instead of too-hip to worry about certain doom. Yes, it was funny, but it wasn’t Ford Prefect’s brand of funny.

      • Drew1Down says:

        Re: Your all Daft
        tokenism, wow I didn’t think you had it in you after lecturing ME on being a racist. Sorry, but you had that coming after that crap you gave me on my views on “catwomen” and hally berry back in february.

        But… you are right, Hollywood has no be VERY NON-OFFENCIVE to everyone. Mos Def is the lance krall of comedy

        • y42 says:

          Re: Your all Daft

          tokenism, wow I didn�t think you had it in you after lecturing ME on being a racist. Sorry, but you had that coming after that crap you gave me on my views on “catwomen” and hally berry back in february.

          But… you are right, Hollywood has no be VERY NON-OFFENCIVE to everyone. Mos Def is the lance krall of comedy

          Right, because if I don’t blind myself to the obvious fact that THEY choose that incompetant actor out of a politically correct and commercially viable form of racism, then I am a racist. Sigh.

          Listen, bub, there’s more than just Politically Correct and Klu Klux Klan: I’m neither. Tokenism exists, pretend it doesn’t, if you wish, but don’t expect me to be that irrational.

          • Drew1Down says:

            Re: Your all Daft

            Listen, bub, there’s more than just Politically Correct and Klu Klux Klan: I’m neither. Tokenism exists, pretend it doesn’t, if you wish, but don’t expect me to be that irrational.

            dude, i was just giving you a hard time. chill!

            • y42 says:

              Re: Your all Daft

              dude, i was just giving you a hard time. chill!

              Allrighty then. Commencing chillin’! :P

  4. gyvrix says:

    The Phone Number
    Hey, when Arthur and Ford are picked up by the Heart of Gold at an improbability of 2 to the (x), I noticed they had Americanized the phone number. I don’t remember if it was a 555- number or not. Does anyone remember, and if it was real, has anyone called it?

    • is says:

      Re: The Phone Number

      Hey, when Arthur and Ford are picked up by the Heart of Gold at an improbability of 2 to the (x), I noticed they had Americanized the phone number. I don’t remember if it was a 555- number or not. Does anyone remember, and if it was real, has anyone called it?

      it had no punctuation and ten digits… if that’s americanized…

      • hitch says:

        Re: The Phone Number

        Hey, when Arthur and Ford are picked up by the Heart of Gold at an improbability of 2 to the (x), I noticed they had Americanized the phone number. I don’t remember if it was a 555- number or not. Does anyone remember, and if it was real, has anyone called it?

        it had no punctuation and ten digits… if that’s americanized…

        yeah, these days that is americanized, essentially. At least out here, all our phone numbers are all ten-digit numbers. “Area codes” are mandatory because we’ve go so daggone many cell phones, modem lines and fax numbers, not to mention VoIP numbers and landlines that they’ve got multiple area codes within one area – so you need to dial all ten digits all the time. on the plus side, it’s increasingly rare to have to dial a “1” for long distance reasons.

  5. is says:

    too bad
    It was worse than I expected. There simply weren’t as many funny moments as I thought there would be.

    Part of the story problem I think was the hints at what would be a more complete explanation in the book. In the movie, there was no real reason for Zaphod being there. He was simply comic relief. They barely hinted at the brain clues he left and the story behind it. Without a running knowledge of the book(s), the hints pass by and the viewer is left completely clueless.

    I also don’t think the original book was movie material. I see it as a loose story with no real ending and a lot of funny british humor. The jokes weren’t especially tied together in the book and making a movie out of a loose collection of jokes has got to be a hard task. They tried to change the story up a bit to make up for it, but it didn’t work. For instance… on Vogon, running thru the field with the shovel looking things… Funny yes. Relevant? Hell no.

    The 3 females who saw the movie with me (never having read the books) were threatening death when we left. :)

    • y42 says:

      Re: too bad

      I also don’t think the original book was movie material.

      *cough*RadioShow*cough*

  6. white.roses says:

    Why Would . . .
    . . . a man whose shirt says “Genius at Work” spend all of his time watching a
    children’s cartoon show?

    Anyone understand why I bring that Simpsons quote up?

    Because you’re all nitpicking this film to death. I went opening
    night. I took my largish towel from Marks & Spencer. I had a good time. I
    re-read my omnibus version. I watched the BBC series for the umpteenth
    time. I listened to the radio version. They are all good in their own ways. If
    anyone cares to look up choice quotes from DNA over the years, you might
    even run across the fact that the TV version was the version he least liked,
    lacking the visualization that could be developed either in a film setting, or by
    using the listener’s imagination in a radio setting. So, really, be my guest.
    Compare the TV series to the film. Compare the radio series. Compare the
    novels.

    In comparing a 110 minute film with a radio or TV series, or even a book
    (name one, one, book that had every moment faithfully rendered on
    the screen – even LOTR, with, what, 9, 10 hours of film on the DVDs didn’t
    manage it), you’re all just asking for disappointment. And you got it.

    Complaining that Zaphod was portrayed as dumb? Guess what, he is. Check
    the books again. He’s supposed to be, or at least play, dumb. Check the
    sequence between Trillian and Zaphod from the novels if you don’t believe
    me. Head problem? Arm problem? So what! You’re blinding yourself with
    nostalgia.

    Complaining about Mof Def’s portrayal of Ford? Ever consider the long
    shadow he has to work under? Every last one of us has an idea as to how
    Ford is supposed to be. How he’s supposed to act. I defy any one of you to
    take a shot at Rick Blaine. Personally, I loved the towel. In the TV series, Ford
    just hands Arthur a towel, with a brief explanation as to why it’s important.
    In the movie, Ford *uses* it. All the time. As a weapon. As a tool. Christ,
    even the Vogons are afraid of it! That alone made the performance for me.
    In the book, DNA was able to use a little exposition to explain it’s uses. Mos
    Def uses it like a katana at times, just poping it out a little as a threat. As to
    the shopping cart issue, well, shit, maybe he intended to use that, but then
    had to, you know, bribe some workmen, ran out, and had to go pubbing
    instead. It’s called a back up plan. Think about it.

    Perhaps you all should take your comments (and your review) over to
    planetmagrathea.com. I’m sure MJ Simpson would be happy to comiserate
    with you. Of course, he thinks the TV version is the best, and complained
    about items that were in the TV series that didn’t make it to the big screen.
    Complain that the description “in exactly the way that bricks don’t” wasn’t in
    the film. I can’t think that any of you went in to the theater with any
    expectation other than to be disappointed.

    Accept it as a different version, just like all the other different versions.
    Accept that, in large part, this was DNA’s script. Yeah, OK, the love interest.
    It’s not unrequited any more. But I’m not in the least bit disappointed by the
    film. And how can any of you sleep at night comparing this film to Episode I
    or II? Those genuinely sucked.

    Frankly, I can see that none of you are ever going to get thwacked. You know
    what I mean. Fanbois.

    Now, I want all of you to go read this review, and then go see the
    film without your peril sensitive sunglasses on. Top grossing film
    of the weekend. I say bring on Restaurant.

    • hans says:

      Re: Why Would . . .
      Thank you for expressing what I have felt as I read these reviews.

      In particular, I want to take issue with the original review where he said (paraphrased) that you should only see it if you’re a die-hard. I like HHGG, I have read all the books at least once. I’ve never seen the TV version, heard the radio version, or been to a fraction of the websites devoted to it. I did play the text adventure. My wife has done none of the above. My friends and family that went with me are at various points along that continuum. We all liked it. It would seem that only the hardcore fans don’t like it.

      I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Different from the books/radio/tv? Probably, as expected. But to tell the truth, <b>I couldn’t tell where it deviated from the book.</b> There’s a reason for this: I am not a HHGG fanboy, and HHGG was never really big on plot. It is a delightfully funny conglomeration of funny British humor. The movie was a funny approximation. It was neither over ambitious in being faithful to the books nor completely unfaithful.

      Mos Def wasn’t the best but he was ok. I <b>liked</b> the Arthur and Trillian love story, and they were well-cast, to the point of being the high point for me. Yes, I know it deviates from the book, but I liked it. Marvin’s voice was perfect but his look did nothing for me. Slartibartfast was perfect. The dolphins and their song were great. Zaphod’s head was dumb, but Zaphod himself was good.

      Perfect? No. Good? Yes. If you want the book, go read the book.

  7. GrimSean says:

    Went this evening
    I both enjoyed and was disappointed by it.

    Now, I’ll agree that Mos Def didn’t quite nail Ford Prefect – but as has been said elsewhere, he was going to have a difficult time doing a performance that everyone would love. The first few scenes were so-so, but when he started busting out the towel and his conversations at the bar and with the giant lady? That was spot-on Ford Prefect.

    My problem with the movie was Sam Rockwell. I’m not sure if it was him (I’ve only ever seen him in Galaxy Quest, which I thought he was good in), the script or his direction, but somewhere along the line they lost sight of what Zaphod is supposed to be – super-cool to the point of assholishness and Hugh Hefner on acid in equal parts. He was far too over the top and stupid (that helmet? give me a break, or rather, give me his sunglasses!) to be a believable Zaphod. Following the movie, my friend who I went with suggested that one of the Wilson brothers (Luke or Owen, but preferably Luke) would have been a far better choice.

    Marvin was great – especially the old Marvin in the queue, which I thought was a nice touch.

    • hitch says:

      Re: Went this evening

      I both enjoyed and was disappointed by it.

      Now, I’ll agree that Mos Def didn’t quite nail Ford Prefect – but as has been said elsewhere, he was going to have a difficult time doing a performance that everyone would love. The first few scenes were so-so, but when he started busting out the towel and his conversations at the bar and with the giant lady? That was spot-on Ford Prefect.

      My problem with the movie was Sam Rockwell. I’m not sure if it was him (I’ve only ever seen him in Galaxy Quest, which I thought he was good in), the script or his direction, but somewhere along the line they lost sight of what Zaphod is supposed to be – super-cool to the point of assholishness and Hugh Hefner on acid in equal parts. He was far too over the top and stupid (that helmet? give me a break, or rather, give me his sunglasses!) to be a believable Zaphod. Following the movie, my friend who I went with suggested that one of the Wilson brothers (Luke or Owen, but preferably Luke) would have been a far better choice.

      Marvin was great – especially the old Marvin in the queue, which I thought was a nice touch.

      ooh…that’s a good choice – though I was going to suggest that Mos Def would have been better as Zaphod than as Ford…

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