Ashley Zoch

Friday, April 29, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I wanted Hitchhikers to be a comfort movie.

Something I could pop into the DVD player when I had nothing else to do and just stare at. Notice the odd clever little nod to the book. Smile at Douglas Adams' carefully considered absurdity. Absorb the shiny new - but still quaint - design. Sadly I don't think it's going to be that movie.

I'm aware that the film and the book with differ, but this movie feels pretty shallow. It's like a generic Hollywood script with a few choice Douglas Adams jokes sewn in over the top. It lacks the substance required for repeated viewings. I feel like I've experienced all it had to offer in one sitting. If you disregard the dated effects and wonky acting, the old BBC series is superior. At least to me.

On the good side - there were a few well crafted subtle jokes and the Magrathea sequence looked good. On the bad side - I couldn't get around Alan Rickman as Marvin (his voice is too distinct), the set design was mostly very bland (rusty walls all around - looked like a level from Half Life), Zaphod looked like the guy from Nickleback and was too wanky, Ford was dull (I had high hopes for Mos Def), Trillian and Arthur were both plain. The plot followed key elements of the book, but the heavy use of Vogons as the enemy was also bland. They're just not that interesting.

I've made my peace with this knowing that any movie is better than no movie. There's always someone else waiting to do the next re-make. I wonder what Douglas would have thought?


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