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Overall Rating
2.93

Awesome: 7.07%
Worth A Look33.7%
Average: 25.54%
Pretty Bad: 12.5%
Total Crap: 21.2%

13 reviews, 106 user ratings


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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The
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by U.J. Lessing

"I think you ought to know that I’m feeling very depressed."
2 stars

Douglas Adams, in his book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” describes a poorly designed machine that produces a beverage that is almost but not entirely unlike tea. This description could be transferred easily to Touchstone Pictures, because they have created a movie that almost but not entirely disregards Douglas Adams’ brilliant humor.

The film starts out beautifully with Stephen Fry’s crisp voice reciting Douglas Adams’ story about how the dolphins, the second smartest creature on earth (humans aren’t the first), tried to warn people about the destruction of the earth and then fled leaving the message “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” Fry’s reading, blended with superimposed shots of dolphins’ flips and twirls is the perfect way to begin.

And then comes the plot… If you are a fan you know the premise by heart, and have experienced it through multiple media: book, radio-comedy, television, computer text adventure game, and perhaps even audio book.

Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) wakes up one morning slightly hung-over, only to discover his small house is about to be torn down to make room for a highway. His best friend Ford (Mos Def) shows up and distracts him from his impending homelessness by informing him that the world is about to end. It turns out that Ford is an alien writer doing research on Earth for a book called, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and is privy to the knowledge that intergalactic bureaucrats have targeted the earth for demolition.

Together, they beam off the earth seconds before it’s demise, hook up with a two-headed, schizoid gigolo alien named Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and fellow earthling survivor Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), and embark on many adventures that revolve around the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

It is fun to see a big, Hollywood version of all the clever elements Douglas Adams so skillfully created. The Babel Fish, Marvin: the clinically depressed robot (voiced by Alan Rickman), the Heart of Gold, the Infinite Improbability Drive, the importance of towels, and the number 42 all elicit smiles.

But then about a quarter of the way through the movie, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy begins to feel flashy and empty.

Not since The Fifth Element has a science-fiction film been so busy. The movie races from one frenetic scene to the next, and while many wonderful moments are kept intact, character interactions and relationships have been jettisoned in favor of wild gesticulations, frantic emoting and a heap of commotion.

Occasionally, the film slows to attempt to develop a romance between Arthur and Trillian with painfully awkward results.

The realization sets in that Ford and Zaphod, two wonderfully fun characters have been reduced to physical reactions and pratfalls. There simply isn’t time for their characters to be fleshed out.

First-time director Garth Jennings creates a few memorable scenes. The presentation of the destruction of the earth is clever, and scenes shared by Arthur and the planet designer, Slartibartfast are even touching. (Bill Nighy, as Slartibartfast, gives the only restrained and memorable performance in the film.)

Sadly, the vigorous roar of the rest of the film quickly overwhelms these moments, and the movie crumbles quickly. Of all the adaptations of Douglas Adams’ seminal work, this is by far the worst, and the fact that it is the first posthumous adaptation makes it that much more painful.

But take heart! Despite being a fragmented mess, there is enough of Adams’ voice present to motivate fans to search their attics for their dog-eared copies of the books, and hopefully this misguided attempt will also dispatch a whole new batch of readers into libraries and bookstores everywhere. As for me, I’m off to buy a new towel.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11932&reviewer=396
originally posted: 04/29/05 13:57:31
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User Comments

7/31/14 rivhrwcne USA 5 stars
7/15/14 kcvujmdzsp USA 4 stars
7/28/12 Silkworm Dreadful rubbish - Just ask revolving Douglas !! 1 stars
2/15/12 Ron Larson Enjoyable, good cast 4 stars
5/14/11 Chipzsz First time i couldn't understand s**it, after reading the book is excellent, specially Marv 5 stars
6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY Hard to follow story line...was there a story line? 2 stars
6/09/10 Harvey Scott Fun but see the English version first. 3 stars
1/27/09 Shaun Wallner Very Interesting 4 stars
9/07/08 Samantha Pruitt did a good job re-telling the book, the effects were great! 4 stars
12/16/07 Jason The TV show sucked, this was only marginally better. 3 stars
5/20/07 fools♫gold Damn funny at times and even thoughtful. Seaver knows... 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK Watching Harry Potter suck his cock is more tolerable than this. 1 stars
2/20/07 Beau literally one of the worst overrated movies i have ever seen, utterly pointless crap 1 stars
1/05/07 Don't see the movie, read the book please please please read the excellent book and don't judge it by this crap 1 stars
1/02/07 Jamie I actually thought that is was a decent movie, ya'll need to shutup, if you don't like it.. 5 stars
11/14/06 Matt Read the book, then dont waste ur time on the movie 2 stars
10/10/06 Diana Starts out great, slowly gets worse, the end is terrible and sugary (PS- READ THE BOOK) 3 stars
9/02/06 Chad Thomas Okay... not great! 3 stars
6/05/06 Pete Smith Utter rubbish. Watch the BBC TV version instead. 1 stars
5/21/06 millersxing Sci-fi silliness. I'm no more likely to read the book than before. 3 stars
5/19/06 drydock54321 kind of dull 2 stars
3/30/06 alley brauwnstine 5 stars
3/13/06 Roderick Cromar Very disappointing. A wasted opportunity. Poor value. 2 stars
2/12/06 adamathwaxman you all are styupid. this is the best film in years.pick yourself with a sharp object. 4 stars
1/24/06 Michael Shaw If anyone thinks this movie was worth watcvhing they should get their head examined 1 stars
1/20/06 Mike Pulido Boy this movie sucked! 1 stars
1/18/06 DARIJA VAN HOUTEN IT WAS OK, BUT I'VE SEEN BETTER 3 stars
1/15/06 Perry Mason nice opening, down hill from there. 2 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman maybe I just need to watch it again for 1 more star 3 stars
12/03/05 Jennifer S. Martin Freeman is pretty good in this, but Zooey Deschanel is her usual annoying self. 3 stars
11/13/05 cypress wasn't too impressed, expected more from this one 2 stars
10/27/05 East Asian Piss Fairly Good 4 stars
10/25/05 daveyt not worthy of the title... absolutely butchered 2 stars
10/09/05 Anus Adams is rolling in his grave. 1 stars
10/07/05 Chris Knight I was open mouthed it was so dreadful 1 stars
10/03/05 CaDizzle Don't judge the book by this movie, book is millions of times better 2 stars
9/27/05 rafi I actually liked it alot , fun movie! 5 stars
9/20/05 Vaughan What a disappointment, they ruined the jokes! 2 stars
9/19/05 Jonathon Holmes dogshit 1 stars
9/15/05 Tom Burns Not a great movie, but the scenery is pretty cool. 3 stars
9/06/05 chrissy b absolute rubbish - dire remake - why bother 1 stars
8/12/05 zaw is this movie based on a piece of crap book or what? 1 stars
8/09/05 Glagg Just not interesting or funny enough, gives book an undeserved bad rep. 2 stars
8/06/05 Zack DON'T PANIC! 5 stars
8/05/05 Kathy terPlugg Wasting away again in MAGRATHEAville 2 stars
7/22/05 Seen the movie, TOTALLY regretted it The movie was a REMAKE of Penis Spaceship movie of the 1960'70s 1 stars
7/09/05 Rebecca It implies the book itself is a piece of shit. It isn't. 3 stars
7/03/05 Eddie DUMBEST PIECE OF RANCID ANTI-CHRIST SHIT! 1 stars
6/28/05 Joe Pesci The film is crap. BUT READ THE BOOK - ITS AMAZINGLY GREAT. 1 stars
6/24/05 Eric Rollins The mini-series is so superior, skip this mess 2 stars
6/19/05 Sean Lane Awesome alternative to the regular garbage derivations. Didn't read the book. 4 stars
6/11/05 Krisan Graves what did i just watch? 3 stars
6/11/05 Captain Craig The only move I ever walked out on! A waist of money all around. dont bother! 1 stars
6/09/05 elpintogrande ADAMS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE 1 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper Failed Disney attempt to cash in on pre-Star Wars hype. A true waste of film and my $10. 1 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon i loved the opening theme, but too much pointless chatting amongst charactors. 3 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW Don't know what to say about this... 3 stars
5/27/05 chris. this is what fans of the book like myself have been waiting for????? 3 stars
5/23/05 Green Gremlin Not as good as the classic BBC series, but still fun to watch 4 stars
5/22/05 Cham Book was pretty funny, but this is just plain bad. 1 stars
5/21/05 Tom Biegel Boring 2 stars
5/17/05 ad good for kids 3 stars
5/17/05 Hannah INSANITY!!! Don't see it in theaters...unless you are drunk! 1 stars
5/15/05 Bluto I wanted to like it so much, good visuals, thats about it 3 stars
5/14/05 MF A fun, if not wierd, movie that pales in compraison to the books. 3 stars
5/12/05 mwr truly awful, awkward and ugly - I fell asleep 1 stars
5/12/05 Jeff Baugh Read the books, seen the TV series, and heard the radio show. My rating? *****/***** 5/5 4 stars
5/12/05 Tyrantis The most entertaining film I've seen this year. 5 stars
5/12/05 maxomai Not the book. Who cares? Loved it. 5 stars
5/11/05 X worth the line wait 5 stars
5/10/05 nikki definately worth a look 5 stars
5/09/05 Snickerdoodle Weird in a good way, and very imaginative 4 stars
5/09/05 zeitgeist WTF is with the love story sub-plot? It ruined it. Stick to the book, kids 3 stars
5/07/05 Harry Knowles WORST. MOVIE. EVER. (ok, maybe not - battlefield earth holds that spot) 1 stars
5/07/05 Sir Spam-a-lot If only they had this kinda budget w/ the 1981 BBC Miniseries... 3 stars
5/06/05 KingNeutron Worst. Zaphod. EVAR. 2 stars
5/05/05 Christy Schultz Well, I have never read the book, but it was funny in some places, very stupid in others 2 stars
5/05/05 Ethan Acres Screenplay obviously written by Vogons 2 stars
5/05/05 ZF better than expected, very funny, great production design 4 stars
5/05/05 marya appalling, tripe, awful, unwarranted, Dear God, don't let them make a sequel! 1 stars
5/04/05 Integral Retarded, aimless, pointless, dull, WANT MY MONEY BACK!!! 1 stars
5/04/05 tmcmistress Lowtax: THINK. Idea-smiting shovels. on Vogon. Makes perfect sense. Well-done movie. 4 stars
5/04/05 Whatevr cool 5 stars
5/04/05 Mike Prentice Walked out after 40 minutes AND got my money back 1 stars
5/03/05 Aaron Smith Awful 1 stars
5/03/05 elpintogrande A pathetic attempt at forced humour. 1 stars
5/03/05 Tom Felt way more depressed than Marvin could ever be 1 stars
5/03/05 Lowtax So what was all that shovel face slapping time wasting crap about? 1 stars
5/03/05 Tommy It doesn't do justice to the book or to the fans. 1 stars
5/03/05 Anus HUGE STEAMING PILE OF BOREDOM. A DISGRACE TO THE BOOK 1 stars
5/02/05 jcjs loved it 5 stars
5/02/05 Elizabeth S Not very amusing; only enjoyed Rickman's excellent voice work. 2 stars
5/02/05 bullit16 What was laugh-out-loud funny in the book, just wasn't on the screen 3 stars
5/02/05 Teri SILLY 3 stars
5/02/05 Rageim Support the movie ,Maybe get better in next movie. 4 stars
5/02/05 Richard Sucked 1 stars
5/02/05 Dorothy Malm not bad but movies are rarely as good as the book 4 stars
5/02/05 Joe Buss Pretty funny 4 stars
5/01/05 herrinfamily none 3 stars
5/01/05 John Bale Strong supporting cast and Jim Hanson's monsters help this space satire 4 stars
5/01/05 Darren Shea Good, but not great. Likely to be a letdown if you've memorized the books,or other versions 4 stars
5/01/05 The Grinch Pretty damned good for 2 hours...I don't think Joe Moviegoer could've handled 3 hrs.. 4 stars
5/01/05 Titus Better than I feared, not as good as I hoped. Chuckle-worthy, not much more. 3 stars
4/30/05 Mahone Sucks beyond belief. Effects budget can't hide terrible effort. 1 stars
4/30/05 Gray tI could have been better but not much 4 stars
4/29/05 David M Rosonowski Played off elements from the radioplay, TV series and book. Loved it. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  29-Apr-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Sep-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  28-Apr-2005




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