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Chief Rebel Angel
Apr 10, 2003

by Fragmaster

Bill Nighy's Slartibartfast was the best acting in this movie (he is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors). Alan Rickman's spot-on Marvin was also brilliant. Everyone else seemed like they were just going thorugh the paces. Zooey Dachshund or whatever her name is has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen, but that was about it.

I thought the pacing was really good. They did some of the tangential explanation wackiness from the books, but kept it limited to making a silly joke and then moving on with the plot.

The effects were done very well. Very appealing from a visual perspective.

As far as the plot goes, you really can't nitpick this one at all. The only major complaint I have is the forced love interest. Hollywood never ceases to infuriate me by brute-forcing love story elements into source material that contains no love story elements.

The bottom line is that it was funny, entertaining, visually excellent (especially Trillian, yowza), and well-paced. Overall I enjoyed it.



Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire

Saw this at a matinee viewing, and after hearing countless critics and nerds bash it, I'll admit my expectations were somewhat lowered. Still, I came out of this movie a happy man - I think they did right by it. They included some of my favorite bits, and the new stuff wasn't too bad at all. Sure, the romance subplot was a bit heavy and overdone, but I can overlook that. Acting was great on pretty much all fronts, and the special effects - especially the Magrathea shipyard - were gorgeous. I did miss some of the funnier parts of the book, but it would be hard to convert them to film.

Overall, the transformation from book to movie did no more harm than the LOTR transformation.


Sep 28, 2001
Lowtax giveth, and Lowtax taketh away.

College Slice

The biggest problem was the cutting for time. Part of what made Adams' original works so funny was the completely insane and over-the-top exchanges between various people - like Arthur and the construction foreman. They have a long conversation about how the plans were supposedly on display. In the movie Arthur just says he had to "go to the basement" to find them. That's not funny, it just falls flat.

I think if they had worried less about running long and kept more of the dialog in the movie it would have been infinitely better.


Jun 1, 2000


I found this film pretty incoherent and confusing, despite being a long time fan (particularly of the radio series). I can't imagine how anyone without prior knowledge of some of the central ideas of HHGTTG could have understood what was happening.

For some reason, Hitchhiker doesn't translate well into a visual medium. Most of the jokes just didn't work very well, even the old ones (though I was pleased with the sperm whale scene, that was probably my favourite. Bill Bailey). The casting and acting were very good, but the script was lacking at times (which was the last thing I expected)... or it might have been the way the actors were directed, I'm not sure.

It must have been difficult to take a fairly rambling plot, mix and match, copy and paste and turn it into a decent 2 hour film, and they actually did fairly well. It's just that the transitions were bad; the pacing seemed all wrong. The characters wooshed from place to place without any apparent reason (or without a good enough reason). It wrapped up quickly at the end leaving me with the impression that nothing much had happened, even though during it I felt that too much was happening.


Pros: Good interpretation, good casting.
Cons: Just not a great film.

May 18, 2002

I haven't read the books yet.

I could sort of see the brilliance in this movie, but it was always trapped beneath a layer of hollywood slime.

My jibes:

1) Constant over-the-top music. There was maybe 2 minutes total running time that wasn't drowned out by it. I felt like it was being forcibly shoved down my throat through the whole movie.

2) Blockbuster-itis. Obnoxiously showy and in-your-face where it doesn't need to be. Ties in with jibe 1).

3) Lack of explanations. Ie: the significance of towels.

4) Failed humour. This is minor though: there was humour that worked, just not all of it.

I'd consider it an overall enjoyable film if it wasn't for the music. Because of the music, I never want to see it again willingly. It was just that irritating to me.

1/5 as it stands.

3/5 if you somehow cut the music out.

Jun 25, 2004

This is my absolute favorite book of all time and for most of the duration of the movie I laughed and laughed because it was all one big inside joke for me. There were many fine jokes kept in tact, which I enjoyed.

However, if you haven't read MJ Simpson's review of the movie, I would suggest reading it because I'd pretty much say the same things. The makers of the movie completely missed Douglas's sense of humor and subtle wit. The things in the movie spoken by the Guide were the best parts if you asked me. Don't get me wrong, I thought the movie was superbly cast (Arthur, Ford and Zaphod all did marvelous jobs), but the entire production was missing the charm that just oozed out of the books.

For example, so many of the sci-fi-like elements of the book were just big jokes. The names of the different areas of space, the strange names of planets and species, strange yet funny objects... All this translated to the screen was just ho-hum standard nerdery. It just didn't work.

Bottom line is that they just didn't "get" what Douglas had written.


sirchode fucked around with this message at May 4, 2005 around 06:40

Dec 30, 2003

I saw this last night, and I ended up not liking it much. My main problem with the movie is that it seemed to put in parts of the book that were designed to set up jokes and then the jokes never came. Other parts were never really explained, so people who never read the books wouldn't have a clue why everyone carried around towels. I kept waiting for jokes that never came. I guess it wasn't a waste of my time because I mostly enjoyed it, but most of the jokes were missing.

Also, I love Alan Rickman in anything.


inferis fucked around with this message at May 6, 2005 around 08:54

bumming your scene
Dec 29, 2004

I never read the book (Like Gay Don said, I have no idea what the towels are for), but I had a slight knowledge of what it was. I went in expecting a quirky movie adapted from bland British humor and got exactly that. (note: this is a personal issue I have, I don't find Brits funny.)

I was very pleased with the movie, the setup was kind of quick paced, rushed though, but I think that kind of fits the story. There weren't any real slow downs that you usually get in a movie... you know, that 15 minute boring dialogue that does nothing but fill time and try to show off one's "acting". The movie is very snappy.

It keeps itself consumable to a mass crowd, not pour out any philosophical agenda it may have, but still has those undertones. My favorite part of the movie, for some reason, is Zaphod, with his thinking cap, walking 5 feet saying "I think... *SMACK*, kind of sums up the whole thing.

I'd say 3.5/5, but the movie has alot replayability to me, so 4/5.

Mar 19, 2003


I really wanted this movie to work. So badly. But it wasn't even halfway done before I started to wonder if I should just leave. Maybe it would get better, maybe it would start being funny. So I stuck it out the entire time and wound up feeling like I could have done something better with my hour and a half.

I love the book but that's not why I didn't like the movie. It moved too fast and glossed over the best parts of the book. The new stuff Adams wrote for the new movie just felt tired and slow. The Vogons were the main antogonist and they're just not a particularly stimulating villain. How do you make an effective bad guy out of a race whose entire agenda is being boring?

The only thing to save this review from dipping down into a 1 is Sam Rockwell and Alan Rickman. But they only help a little bit.

What could have been...

This is the first time I've ever rated a movie so low here.


Vince McMahon
Dec 18, 2003

This could really have been a superb movie. Unfortunately, they decided to remove pretty much everything that was funny about the books and the TV series. The acting was pretty bad - Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent was an awful choice. Arthur Dent was supposed to be a polite and reserved Englishman, really not coping with the events taking place - not a giggly buffoon. Zaphod was probably the only character that they managed to pull off.

There were a few things that would have made no sense to people who aren't familiar with the books - particularly the towels (they were supposed to be vitally important for the humans to survive hyperspace). For some reason, the producers thought that shortening the jokes would keep the humour, but they took it to the extreme. The most notable part was with the demolition crew, which shortened a few minutes of dialog into "I had to go into the basement". This approach pretty much killed any chances of the film being as funny as the book. However, I may be biased as I've been spoilt by the books and the TV series. I recommend that anyone who was disappointed by the films track down the TV series and see how the books should have been viewed.

All in all, I'll give it 2/5. It wasn't the worst movie in the world, but it does the books no justice whatsoever.

Aug 30, 2003
It's time for dim sum.

Clapping Larry

I thought it was quite excellent. I liked the new plot elements and characterizations in order for the film to fit better in the allotted time, although the pacing did drag a little bit towards the middle. The visuals and costumes were great, and the Vogons looked perfect.

It's really all I could have hoped for out of a big screen version of the story and I'm very happy with how it turned out.


Feb 18, 2004

Problems in pacing. Zooey Deschanel gave the poorest performance I think, but overall the acting was okay. Pretty much like her roles in most movies, it sounds like she's apathetic when she talks. The other actors did a pretty good job keeping consitent. The one critic that many people seem to be bringing up is that they just make leaps and bounds with assumptions. Having read the book, I know these aren't assumptions assuming that someone is a fan of the book, but more that you can just fill in bits of character development. My example would be Arthur's jump from being a wuss to being a confident invidual. It just happens without any actual trial. Or how Ford and Arthur go from somewhat puzzled and amazed at Marvin to completely annoyed. These are things that don't really have a explained leading up to, they just happen in the story. It's got it's funny moments. Sam Rockwell's Bush impersonation technique is actually quite hilarious. It really adds a level of depth to the movie character. I would like to note that the movie characters are very different from the book characters, but that this isn't a bad thing.
Some people criticized the BBC Marvin cameo, but I actually really enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.5

Mar 28, 2003


I came into this movie knowing NOTHING about anything of the books, the radio or TV series of the must say I found this movie to be terribly boring, un-funny and almost embarassing to watch. As soon as the song started in the beginning I sank into my chair knowing that this wasn't going to be a very pleasant experience.

The whole time I was watching this it just seemed to be trying so hard to be funny and over the top, it seemed like I was forced to watch a little kid on a sugar binge finger paint onto a film reel. From the robot Marvin's constantly flat gimmick of being depressed jokes, the annoyingly obnoxious Beetlbrox, even the voice during the guide sequences started to irritate me.

I liked Mos Def as Forge, I had no idea it was him until I saw a close up of his face. The casting was well done. John Malkovich's role was interesting to see. All the other actors I think did their best, but the dialogue itself grated on my ears.

The special effects and characters were all well done yadda yadda yadda... It doesn't really matter if all the dialogue sucks and you don't know what's going on in the storry.

All in all I can honestly say I hated this movie. That's saying a lot too. Maybe I just don't "get" the british humor or whatever, but it was a real waste of 2 hours if you ask me.


Feb 7, 2004

Living In The Real World

Fan of the book, enjoyed the tv series even though the effects where cheesy.

This movie, was entertaining, I laughed a lot, but also found myself many a times saying wtf, this is horrible.

For some reason, the way they did zaphod's second head just really bothered me, I think I would of rathered the lifeless manaquin head from the tv series.

As everyone has said, new scenes and love sublot where anoying. I know they were trying to make this into a "movie" but im not so sure the villians and over the top love story and right of passage garbage were really necessary, definitly low points of the movie in my opinion.

Im not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I am definitly waiting for a sequal, but mostly because the movie left me with the feeling, "Where is the rest of it? When does the next one start?" Overall, I found the movie entertaining, but with little repeat value as I would rather take the time to re read the first couple chapters of the book, Im sure it would be much more enjoyable.

If you are board and looking for a handful of good laughs, or if you are a big fan of the book, then you will most likely enjoy the movie, otherwise its just another typical cheesy comedy flick with a couple spots of brilliant humor.


P.S. I must agree that while that dolphin song was slightly amusing, it made me want to shoot myself.

DBlanK fucked around with this message at May 6, 2005 around 23:57

Oct 6, 2003

Pig Sooie

I am a fan of the books, but not a rabid fan. I did not like this movie at all. I saw it with another goon and we both thought it was absolutely horrible. Half the story was changed from the original book and it just wasn't funny at all. I laughed once during the entire movie. The best parts were the beginnig and end simply because of the So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish song. The rest was just stupid and unfunny.


Liquid Entropy
Sep 19, 2002

I'm a rabid fan of everything Douglas Adams has touched. I've been looking forward to this movie for years. Personally, I came out of the theatre with the impression that the universe is more sensible and less sinister place than I'd thought it to be.

I went into the theatre with but two expectations:
a) The HHG2G is definitively incorrect. I expected the movie to stray from, and even contradict the book.
b) I was not walking into the film to have someone narate the books to me. I was going to watch a movie, a completely different medium, and that though the spirit of the humour may remain, the means by which it was conveyed would surely be different.

I adored the movie.

I thought the vogon's were brilliant. From afar they looked like hunched beuracrats queing up. Close up, they were festering, disgusting, and almost completely in-human. The scene where they save Trillian reminded me of going to the DMV, or filing for financial aid. I felt that they breathed a new life into the race Douglas Adams had described.

I found the new material to be on the mark. The Guide entry about the Point-of-View gun was great, and totally appropriate. I read somewhere that Douglas said Trillian was always such a wooden character because he just didn't know how to write women. In retrospect, I figured that that bit is from his original screen play, and that he was taking a shot on himself and men like him. I laughed. Frankly, the loose ends didn't concern me at all. The movie's about Arthur. Ford, and particularly Zaphod are extraneous characters. It may be a bit irresponsible to the audience, but I'd be perfectly comfortable if a new movie came out and they just picked up loose ends as they were convenient. It just doesn't bother me

It was a very busy movie. I could see how those unacquainted with the books could get confused. It struck me that they were doing as much as they could in a reasonable amount of time. It wouldn't suprise me in the least if "missing" book moments will be found in deleted scenes on the DVD.

I liked the love interest. I was suprised Adams never did more on it in the books. It struck me that the movie dipped into Fenchurch and Arthur's dynamic in So Long and Thanks For All the Fish.

About Slartibartfast and the ending He was just great. He was always a sage character in the books, and I felt that he pulled it off well. His whole speil about "None of it makes sense, and there's nothing to be done about it. Just grab on to what makes you happy, bud. That only works if you actually go and find what makes you happy". The juxta position of that speech and the view of Arthur whizzing around the re-construction of what he once knew as his home was just great. I mean, way to make a point, right?

I loved, adored the ending. Adams was a huge convservationalist, and I thought it was a nice ode to him. It's nice to be reminded of all the beauty in the world if you can get out of the cities. Closing the movie with "For Douglas" almost made me cry.

That's my spin on things.
I've never felt so vindicated walking out of a theater: 5/5

I'd recommend anyone go see it. Is your $8 and two hours so valuable?

Sep 20, 2002

I'm a newer fan of the book, in fact the main reason I finally decided to read it was because I heard the movie was coming out, so it gave me the push to pick it up. I totally fell in love with the book, and read it pretty quickly. I also have recently seen the TV show, which though I found enjoyable, I also had some problems with.

So what did I think of the movie? I was quite disappointed actually. I think a lot of the people were done quite well, except Trilian who I found very annoying. I think the big problem I had was the part where Arthur gives the "only question that matters to me" speech, I seriously got upset that they did that, it felt totally out of place. Also, I didn't care too much for the way they did the two heads on Zaphod, perhaps it would have been better to me if they did two actual heads, but I guess there is always the fear it will look as bad as the TV series did.

As good as some parts are, I think it just really can't hold a candle to the book, and perhaps that's what turned me off. I'm sure some people would like it if they didn't know better, but I'm not sure how somebody who read the book could actually find this movie to be fine, I can by no means be called a nickpicker when it comes to this book (as I've only read it once, just a couple months ago), but some of the stuff erked me.

Plus the fact that the TV series was about 3 hours long, covered so much more, and STILL seemed to flow better then this film.

Overall, 3/5, watch it to kill time... read the book if you want to find enjoyment.

The Kung-fu Yeti
Jul 5, 2004

by Ozma

Just saw it tonight, and I liked it for the most part. As many others have said, the number one problem with this is the pacing. The movie just doesn't flow very well, and feels rushed. I think the filmmakers could have afforded to lengthen or slow down some parts so that the casual viewer is informed about some of the more significant stuff. Things like the importance of towels, the babelfish, and the Heart of Gold. Even the whole business with Magrathea and Deep Thought aren't really explained fully. I'm not sure if the casual viewer knew what the gently caress, to tell the truth. The filmmakers didn't really make it clear exactly what the mice were and what they did, and what their relationship with Magrathea was.

I didn't really like the subplot with what's-his-name (John Malkovich's character). Like others have said, it never really got resolved, and that's a big flaw. It just seemed unnecessary, and it was stupid that they got rid of Zaphod's second head. And the love story was rolleyes-worthy.

On the other hand, there was lots of other stuff that was handled very well. The cast was great, especially Marvin, Ford, Zaphod, and Arthur. The only problem was that they didn't illustrate how smart Trillian is [she's supposed to be an expert at mathematics and ]. The Vogons looks great, and the special effects were top-notch. Very, very nice looking film. I loved the addition of the main theme song (seriously, I was worried they wouldn't have it). The "Thanks for All the Fish" song was okay, I guess.

All in all, I give the movie a 4.0 overall. Not bad at all .

Nov 29, 2004

I never read the book and saw it and enjoyed it and I'm giving it a 4 based on pure entertainment value.

Mar 10, 2004
the hairdryer

Having never read the book, this movie left me with a strong desiring to know more of what was going on. I could tell there was more to be going on and my friend and I agreed that we would have laughed more if we understood all of the nuances that were touched upon. Frankly, it really confused me when suddenly Trillian and the gang appear back on new Earth, eating away and we're expected to believe that they just showed up there and given very little about it.

At least this has inspired to me to actually pick up the book and read it to fully understand the movie.


Mar 5, 2003

Tromaville Uber Alles!

The movie was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the book. Overall, it was okay, but came out seeming way too contrived to be the celluloid heir of one of the most original books I own. I think I'd like it better if I hadn't read the book.


V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004


This was just boring. After watching it I realised that, having read the books, watching people read out the jokes on film was just dull (or painful when Trillian and the Narrator did it). I guess that's just another way of saying that this movie added nothing to the Hitchhiker universe.

1/5 for Slartibartfast. He did bring something to it.

Nov 15, 2003

It's like a custom title but not

I've read the book several times and I must say this movie is high in the running for worst movie I have ever seen. Read the books, but don't quite remember it all? Confused that you don't recognize much besides the characters and general locales? That's because NONE of the dialogue or humor or even the poo poo that happens in the movie, save the Hitchhiker's Guide clips, maybe three lines of dialogue and the deal with the sperm whale, are truly from the book at all. All the funny dialogue and narration has been gutted and replaced with cheap laughs and poppy filth. It's like the book was given a witectomy and shat out with a twist of lemon. If Douglas Adams had actually written it like the movie, none of us would have read it. Because it's garbage.

The Hitchhiker's Guide clips, which are very well done, and the few (like 2) moments that escaped from the book unscathed are as a pinch of sugar on a giant steaming turd.

I had low expectations to begin with, but GOD drat. As Marvin said: "It's incredible, it's worse than I expected."


It only takes an hour longer to read the book, I suggest you do that. And stay far, far away from this film.

LegoPirateNinja fucked around with this message at May 11, 2005 around 02:32

Oct 16, 2002

Now the wild world is lost, in a desert of smoke and straight lines.

A worthy attempt to bring an almost unfilmable concept to the big screen.

There was a lot of good stuff here -- an almost flawless cast and some great production design. The only thing that really counted against it was that the plot (if you could call it that) was virtually non-existent and you could tell there was at least 2 hours worth of material left on the cutting room floor.

Then again, the original radio series had a very threadbare plot, seeing as Douglas Adams was essentially making it up as he went along. The whole HH universe was really just a flexible backdrop that allowed Adams to make lots of satirical jokes. Perhaps not the best foundation for a movie, hence the rather wafer-thin "rescue Trillian" and "find the POV gun" plot threads which were full of holes.

A couple of people walked out of my theater after about 5 minutes. I guess they were expecting something more along the lines of "Soul Plane in Space" -- with Star Wars production values -- and were a bit shocked to find themselves in the English countryside watching someone with a Yorkshire accent trying to knock down a guy's cottage.

Those familiar with the radio series/books/TV series will get a big kick out of the movie. Those with no previous HH experience will either love it or hate it.

It'll be a shame if we never see The Restaurant at the End of the Universe on the big screen, as that's a potentially more self-contained movie with a lot of potential to build upon the original and deliver something quite unique.

My HH ranking now looks something like:

Radio series -> Annotated script book -> Novels -> TV series -> Movie -> Infocom game

Rating: 3/5

Pugs Malone
Nov 8, 2004

by Ozma

I liked it,and didn't mind the romance subplot but I thought that the magic reset button at the end where Earth is brought back absolutely sucked. I'm sure that was only put in because test audiences demanded it.

Jul 8, 2004

Is that a real poncho...I mean is that a Mexican poncho or is that a Sears poncho?

Well, mabye I'm more predjudiced than I should be, as I was literally fresh off from the books to watching this movie. The beginning with the dolphin song bugged me, it seemed pretty corny, and a bad way to start off the movie.

However, that wasn't even my main beef with the movie. I do realize that Douglas Adams writing style is not easy to translate into a movie. But what they did was create a seperate story that runs off by itself, tying into the books only here and there. The whole part with Zaphod losing his head, Humma Kavula, and especially, the Trillian and Arthur love interest, which seemed to emerge as the main plot point near the end of the movie.

Overall though, I got a few good laughs out of it. I think the actors did a good job of portraying the characters for the most part. My beef is just with what they do with the storyline. Also, for some reason, Marvin looked nothing like I imagined him to. Even though it shouldn't of, it bothered me.

My rating: 2.5/5

Aug 9, 2003
The Argus


I am a HUGE fan of the books, and I had expected this to be absolutely terrible. While it was, in my opinion, mediocre as both a movie and a book adaptation, I didn't really find it that unenjoyable, so I suppose it was better than I expected it to be.

The dolphin song disappointed me, I just didn't think much of it. The film gets big bonus points with me for using the original theme song from the radio and TV series, with an extended "twangy guitar thing" intro part, which I thought was great. It was of no importance at all, but I got a kick out of it.

I did not care at all about Martin Freeman's Arthur Dent. Mos Def was surprisingly good, as was Trillian (much better than the TV Series' Trillian, and the radio series' Trillian as well, for that matter). Sam Rockwell was incredibly annoying, for the most part.

My main beef, and I assume this is a lot of peoples' main beefs, was the various changes to the plot. I don't care if Douglas Adams wrote the screenplay or approved it or whatever, most of the plot changes added completely unneccessary confusion, and were pretty much pointless and added a frantic air to the film that I actually thought both the novels and TV Series (Which I loved) lacked. The character of Humma Kavula seemed to exist for the sole purpose of introducing the POV gun, which seemed to exist for the sole purpose of giving us a few cheap laughs. I wouldn't mind that so much, except that, to get the end result of a few cheap laughs (along with SOME cleverness on the way, I suppose), the movie takes a large chunk of valuable screen time, which could have easily been replaced with funnier, more intelligent content that was actually in the book. The romance sub-plot and typical Hollywood cop-out ending were also kind of irritating.

To be fair, the movie was probably doomed from the start for me, for the simple reason that I believed, and still believe, that everything but Trillian and the special effects from the original BBC TV series were more or less perfect. As others have mentioned, it seemed kind of lame just waiting for the jokes from the novel to be read aloud on screen, and yet doing the same exact thing for the BBC series cracks me up even after watching it for the 10th time.

The time constraints was a problem, but it was exacerbated by the addition of new (mostly lame) material. And I honestly don't think the 2 hour limit is any excuse. The TV Series, which it is IMPOSSIBLE for me not to compare the movie to, managed to fit the first TWO books in only a 3 hour timespan, and even though it was abridged, it still managed to feel complete and not frantic at all, unlike the film. The franticness really annoyed me.


The movie was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the book.
that, and the fact that it was just mediocre, just about sums it up for me. Even with its terribly low budget, the TV series did it several hundred times better.

2/5 - It's basically a mess, but some of it works, and most of it looks very nice. Great special effects.

Feb 21, 2001

The Kwanzaa Bot is here to protect me.

I have to agree with a lot of the people here and say that the plot was extremely rushed and mishmashed, but I think that was due to them trying to condense elements of all four books into a two-hour movie, which was a huge mistake. They could've easily just planned it out for a couple of movies like LOTR was (a series I assume wasn't that much more popular than HHGTG outside of nerd circles) and fleshed out the storyline / humorous bits a bit more, but it seemed that they weren't planning on it being popular enough to warrant another movie (despite the advertising barrage) and decided to stuff as much key plot from all four books into one movie to give it appeal to those who Don't Much Read Them Books.

Also, the entire Arthur / Trillian romance subplot was abysmal, as many others have said, and I prefer to try forgetting the whole thing with the POV gun.

I give it 4/5.

Mar 18, 2001

I've enjoyed all of the books but came away extremely disappointed from this movie. As soon as I heard the introductory song I was convinced that the movie was going to walk a fine line between entertaining and forced comedy the entire way through. Unfortunately, for me it more frequently fell on the side of seeming forced. Trillian in particular really rubbed me the wrong way, and the entire love subplot was worthless. I'd say that the movie seemed to work too hard to appeal to all audiences, but then I realize that the books weren't all that different. Ultimately, I think that everyon's better off reading the books and letting it play out in their imagination instead of trying to see this as a substitute. There's nothing gained by the transfer to film and it sadly turned out as bad as I hoped it wouldn't be.

1.5/5 for the fact that at least I did laugh maybe one or two times.

May 7, 2003

Slippery Tilde

HGTTG is probably the most convoluted attempt at sci-fi comedy I have ever witnessed* that never managed to even make me smile.

*I walked out after the first hour, so I only half-witnessed it. Awful, boring Disneyfied poo poo. DOLPHINS!!


Mar 26, 2001


Saw it yesterday. I'm of two minds about it really. it is not representative at all of anything that makes the books good, but at the same time it does have some merit as a film.

I don't know if I'm alone in this interpretation but what I liked about the books was that everyone was always dismissive, if not hostile to Arthur Dent. That, as the protagonist he was not granted a special role in various characters' minds. It kind of flew in the face of what was happening in adventure novels of the time and I liked the whimsy of it. In this case though, suddenly he is the protagonist, with everything that entails. Trillian never really warmed up to him in the books, and he didn't "find love" I think until the third one (it's been a long time so I may be mis-estimating). So it was kind of a strangely personal disappointment to discover that for no apparent reason he is madly in love with Trillian (their interactions to date didn't really indicate any reason why he would be like this; her behaviour is mostly shallow and/or insane). Even more unlikely is that she reciprocates (for no reason at all really, except that he sops around her for the whole movie). This is total guesswork but my only theory is that Douglas Adams had been trying to have the movie made for so long that he made the script more and more "hollywood" every time he pitched it until we end up with this.

The pacing is crazy-go-fast, with nothing being explained with any degree of detail. Towel use, magrathea, explaining earth's role more clearly, etc. I think that so much was cut that unfortunately Ford ceases to have any relevance as a character. If they could have gotten Arthur on a ship without him he could have disappeared and not really affected the film very much. Mos Def also had some kind of mush-mouth thing going on and I had trouble understanding him.

Arthur was good actually. He didn't quite have that offended air of britishness to him that the tv show guy did, but he managed to fulfill the criteria of being constantly surprised and shocked. As I said earlier I'm disappointed that the universe isn't treating him cruelly all the time like in the books, but I guess that's a hollywood thing.

I liked Zaphod a lot; I think they nailed the character almost perfectly. However every time one of his cg extra appendages appeared I would cringe. I don't know if I'm picky but the CG on his extra arm/head always looked fake as hell. Also he might as well not have been in the movie after losing the extra head, for all the use he gets. The lemon helmet was pretty pointless too, except as a cheap and not very funny joke/excuse to goggle and flail.

Trillian is just a train wreck. Yes, okay eye-candy, but the character is written to be incredibly obtuse and unsympathetic. I don't think you're given even one single reason why Arthur should go ga-ga over her, aside from the physical. In the books she's unashamedly superficial yet intelligent, and here she's neither so we never really understand why she does anything that she does. And then she has a completely unconvincing 180 reversal as is so subtly introduced by the POV gun.

The POV gun/malkovich thread was so bolted on I could still see the screw heads on the screen, and served to exist only to advance the pointless romance subplot.

Martin won me over, as did the Vogons. I was hoping they'd have the scene where they try to talk the guard out of being vicious all the time but I knew it'd be too weird and long to film. The vogon poetry scene didn't really make an impact to me though, and I thought they were far more effective with their "new" material, though this could just be the incredible talent Henson studios displayed.

Slartibartfast was perfect. He had that ideal kind of distracted, abstract air that someone who creates entire planets might have, especially planets with as many problems as the Earth has. At the same time he had a kind of servility that would come of being a mid-level employee in some enormous corporation. His speech during the Earth MK II tour is really one of the biggest highlights for the film for me. I loved the fact that he was dressed as a bank manager might be.

The introductory song felt like it was taken from a monty python movie made 20 years ago, some last hurrah that they shouldn't have made because they're not funny any more.


Jun 29, 2005

Dispensing unwanted fitness advice since 2005. P.S. Squat more! BEEFCAKE!!!

Background: I liked the books, but I'm not an Adams fanatic or anything.

This movie was a mis-fire. You can tell it had potential, but it craps the bed. The humor only sometimes translated, the rest of the time it just sat there. Trillian just does not work as a character in this movie.


gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

I finally caught this movie the other night, and I was pretty disappointed. It had a lot of things going for it: Zaphod, Ford, and Arthur were all great and I wouldn't change a thing about their characters. Much of the humor remained intact, and some of the new things added were also very funny. The improbability drive was very well done.

But the bad, oh god the bad. The whole love story between Arthur and Trillian basically ruined the movie for me. The plot was changed around to the point where it didn't make sense sometimes. I won't go into a nerdrage or anything, but... okay I'll stop there.

This movie had great potential. For the first 20-30 minutes, I loved it, but I have no idea what the producers were thinking when they made this movie.

I do not recommend watching this movie if you are a fan of the books. If you haven't read the books, you could watch it I guess, but it's not very good.


Aug 30, 2005
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by Earwicker

Read the book twice. Well...actually read the tome containing the bunch of HH books...

When I first began to read the series, I learned that you need to imagine the characters' actions and voices/accents to be very Python-esque. It was like night and day. The books were so enjoyable when they appear in the mind similar to the humor in Life of Brian or Holy Grail. That being said...this movie was no Python.

While watching the movie, I couldn't help but think that I was simply having the actors go "remember this from the books? lol am i rite?!?" Many times I had to look over at my wife and ask her if she actually understood what was going on. Oft times I had to explain...which pretty much sucks any intended humor from the gags. This happened from start to finish. "Singing dolfins are funny honey...but not THAT funny". I don't think many who hadn't read the books even had the time to figure out what the dolfins were singing and why.

Much too much of the funny stuff from the books seemed painfully forced. I think they should have cloned Graham Chapman's genes, and had him and the rest of the Monty Python folks to do the movie. Needed a good shot of Cleese/Gilliam/Chapman.

Pros: Yarn-dolls and vomit. (I chalk it up with Team America's vomit scene) Slartibartfast was superbly cast. Trilliam was very cute. (perhaps too cute. She was more of a distraction from the rest of the movie, not actually how I imagined her in the books, but nice eye candy)

Bottom Line: So much potential to be as funny as Holy Grail...but severely lacking in the humor department. Extremely dissapointing from a reader and fan of the books.


Jul 29, 2003

Backdrop Hunger

2.5 for style and some humor, about the bare minimum for a professionally done version of the book. It didn't translate very well.

Aug 22, 2003


I thought the movie was completely accurate to the Radio show that started it all off, which I have. I mean sure, there are differences, but it's a movie and it needs a very broad appeal. I thought that it was great and the vibrant colors, though unexpected was a pretty nice touch.


PS- Malkovich's character was made specially for the movie and the door handles were models of Douglas Adams' nose.

3mo is the key 2 life
Jul 11, 2003

Hitchhiker's Guide is one of my favorite books, but Douglas Adams would have to look up 'Plot' in a dictionary to figure out what it was, and that just doesn't translate into a movie, or at least not into the kind of movie this tried to be. For what it's worth, they gave a valiant effort at trying to come up with motivations and reasonings for characters who have no motivation or reasoning, and they succeeded...but that's what makes the movie pale in comparison to the book.

I can't say I liked the movie but I can't say I hated it either. I wish I could somehow have the experience of seeing the movie without reading the book just to see how it holds up on it's own merits, rather than trying to compare it to what I've imagined all these years. All in all, I think they did the best they could at filming an unfilmable movie.


Also Marvin was exactly how I didn't picture him and it was a constant distraction. For all the great puppetry and effects, Marvin looked terrible.


Aug 3, 2012

I'm literally retarded

"The Vogon destructor ships floated in the sky in exactly the way that bricks don't."

Now that is a literary gem.

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