Update: I forgot to mention that when I looked up the movie on imdb.com, I had a fun little “42” sighting.
Last night I caught the movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at last. After reading many reviews, I was a little worried that it might not live up to my expectations. Most reviews seem positive but with a few criticism of certain plot points or the way certain situations play out in the movie, but I’ve seen very few “I hated it!” reviews. So I kept an open mind, because I know better than to expect a literal translation of a book into a screenplay…it just doesn’t work most of the time. (“Fight Club” is a good example of a movie which was probably 95% accurate according to the book.) I won’t go through a scene-by-scene critique like some rabid fans out there, but I would have liked to have seen a few small tweaks:
- Zaphod is not quite the idiot he’s portrayed as in the movie…he’s just too cool to care. His coolness even would have transcended having half his brain taken hostage.
- Deep Thought was supposed to have a deep, booming, awe-inspiring voice, like the powerful being it was. We’re meant to cower in front of this thing. In the movie, it just sounded like a bored woman lazily reading a magazine or something.
- Alan Rickman did a good job as Marvin, but I thought he sounded a little too whiny. He didn’t sound like a superintelligent robot who despises every menial task he’s given (and the people who give them)… I would have preferred Rickman’s dripping-with-contempt Professor Snape voice.
- I was hoping to see the remains of the whale on Magrathea, since they showed up in the book & TV show. Oh well!
So I’d say that it’s got enough of the book to satisfy fans, with enough extra stuff and deviations from the book’s plot to keep things interesting. Even the stuff which was written specifically for the movie (Humma Kavula, for instance) related to the Hitchhiker universe in some way. I also enjoyed seeing a couple of fun things they snuck in, like the original Marvin robot from the (awful) BBC television series…and was that Douglas Adams’ face I saw briefly as the Heart of Gold made its final improbability jump at the end? Probably. So I ended up liking this movie more than I thought, even with the bits which seemed awkward or unsure.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the trailers they showed before this movie were some of the most godawful pieces of shite I have ever seen in my life. I’m talking “Son of the Mask” kinda bad. They were so bad, and there were so many of them, that the audience was yelling out nasty comments and laughing at how stupid it all was. It really left us in a pissy mood for a movie we were hoping to enjoy. Thank you, Disney. There was a gagworthy trailer for a Pink Panther remake, a horrifying trailer for a Herbie the Love Bug remake, and one more for a CGI movie called “Valiant” which is apparently all they can come up with without Pixar around to help them be, you know, entertaining. “Hitchhiker” aside, Disney is churning out some truly reprehensible films, and in a way it’s fun to see them slowly circling the drain.