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Overall Rating
2.92

Awesome: 6.52%
Worth A Look34.24%
Just Average: 25.54%
Pretty Crappy: 12.5%
Sucks: 21.2%

13 reviews, 106 user ratings


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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The
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by EricDSnider

"Solid and pleasant, but not nearly as fine as the books."
4 stars

The risks inherent in blending comedy and science-fiction are so great that the combination is not often attempted. Consider: Sci-fi depends on the audience taking its far-out ideas seriously. If you introduce laughs into the mix, even on subjects other than the film's science premises, it's only a half-step further for audiences to begin laughing at the science, too.

There is an awkwardness to some of the comedy in the long-awaited new film version of Douglas Adams' beloved sci-fi novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Plenty of the laughs are straightforward enough, like the robot, Marvin, who is always gloomily depressed about everything (he is voiced by Alan Rickman, of course), or the ship's computer who speaks in the voice of a gregarious, eager-to-please car salesman. But other elements are more bizarre, and the line between "this is supposed to be funny" and "this is just how sci-fi is" becomes blurry. When John Malkovich appears as an alien whose upper half is mostly normal but whose lower half is composed of dozens of spindly little legs -- is that creepy, funny, weird, or some combination?

To be sure, this is not a film for hardcore fans of ordinary sci-fi. It has the trappings of such, of course, including some nifty little sci-fi ideas (like the "improbability drive" that transports you someplace based on what it perceives as the least-likely outcomes), but mostly its focus is oddball comedy and mild sci-fi satire, not laser-gun action or futuristic theories.

Our hero is Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman), a normal, dull British man who is rescued at the last minute from the Earth's destruction by his friend Ford (Mos Def), who turns out to be an alien and who was aware of the impending doom. Ford, as it happens, writes for a book called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," an extraordinarily helpful and interactive tome (voiced by Stephen Fry) that fills Arthur and the audience in on the events at hand.

Arthur and Ford hitch a ride on the spaceship currently occupied by Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), a fatuous, egotistical, two-headed swinger/cowboy type who is president of the galaxy but who behaves with none of the dignity normally associated with that office. (If you think Rockwell is doing an impression of Billy Bob Thornton doing an impression of George W. Bush, you are not alone.) He has stolen this spaceship, actually, and has brought along an Earth girl named Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), whom Arthur met at a party the night before Earth was destroyed. He's looking for a planet where exists an ancient computer that once, years ago, spit out the answer to "life, the universe and everything." The answer was "42." Knowing the answer, Zaphod now wants to know what the question is.

I read Adams' novel years ago and loved it, but don't recall it well enough to say how faithful the movie is to the book in terms of story. (Adams wrote a treatment of the screenplay before his death, and it has been embellished by Karey Kirkpatrick, of "Chicken Run" and "James and the Giant Peach.") I can say, however, that much of the humor was not in the dialogue but in Adams' clever way of describing things, his careful choice of words. Much of that is lost in a movie, of course, where things are shown rather than described, though we do still have the narrator/Hitchhiker's Guide to supply some of that.

The movie is never dull, but it does seem to wander a bit, with an odd, almost delirious storyline that will probably put off viewers who are unfamiliar with Adams' books. It's uneven, too, with rather advanced-looking special effects in one sequence and charmingly old-fashioned ones in another, all as it delivers belly laughs one minute and is just plain odd the next. It is not, I fear, the film "Hitchhiker" fans were hoping for, though it is mostly harmless.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11932&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/29/05 02:35:54
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User Comments

12/24/15 brian If you have no expectations, it's nice lightweight fun. 4 stars
10/08/14 me worth a look 4 stars
7/27/12 Silkworm Dreadful rubbish - Just ask revolving Douglas !! 1 stars
2/14/12 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
6/08/10 Harvey Scott Fun but see the English version first. 3 stars
1/26/09 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
5/19/07 fools♫gold Damn funny at times and even thoughtful. Seaver knows... 4 stars
4/17/07 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
1/01/07 Jamie I actually thought that is was a decent movie, ya'll need to shutup, if you don't like it.. 5 stars
11/13/06 Matt Read the book, then dont waste ur time on the movie 2 stars
10/09/06 Diana Starts out great, slowly gets worse, the end is terrible and sugary (PS- READ THE BOOK) 3 stars
9/01/06 Chad Thomas Okay... not great! 3 stars
6/04/06 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
5/18/06 drydock54321 kind of dull 2 stars
3/29/06 alley brauwnstine 5 stars
3/12/06 Roderick Cromar Very disappointing. A wasted opportunity. Poor value. 2 stars
2/11/06 adamathwaxman you all are styupid. this is the best film in years.pick yourself with a sharp object. 4 stars
1/23/06 Michael Shaw If anyone thinks this movie was worth watcvhing they should get their head examined 1 stars
1/19/06 Mike Pulido Boy this movie sucked! 1 stars
1/17/06 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
12/02/05 Jennifer S. Martin Freeman is pretty good in this, but Zooey Deschanel is her usual annoying self. 3 stars
11/12/05 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
10/06/05 Chris Knight I was open mouthed it was so dreadful 1 stars
10/02/05 CaDizzle Don't judge the book by this movie, book is millions of times better 2 stars
9/26/05 rafi I actually liked it alot , fun movie! 5 stars
9/20/05 Vaughan What a disappointment, they ruined the jokes! 2 stars
9/18/05 Jonathon Holmes dogshit 1 stars
9/14/05 Tom Burns Not a great movie, but the scenery is pretty cool. 3 stars
9/05/05 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
8/05/05 Zack DON'T PANIC! 5 stars
8/04/05 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
7/02/05 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
6/23/05 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
6/10/05 Captain Craig The only move I ever walked out on! A waist of money all around. dont bother! 1 stars
6/08/05 elpintogrande ADAMS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE 1 stars
6/04/05 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
5/22/05 Green Gremlin Not as good as the classic BBC series, but still fun to watch 4 stars
5/21/05 Cham Book was pretty funny, but this is just plain bad. 1 stars
5/21/05 Tom Biegel Boring 2 stars
5/16/05 ad good for kids 3 stars
5/16/05 Hannah INSANITY!!! Don't see it in theaters...unless you are drunk! 1 stars
5/14/05 Bluto I wanted to like it so much, good visuals, thats about it 3 stars
5/13/05 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
5/11/05 Jeff Baugh Read the books, seen the TV series, and heard the radio show. My rating? *****/***** 5/5 4 stars
5/11/05 Tyrantis The most entertaining film I've seen this year. 5 stars
5/11/05 maxomai Not the book. Who cares? Loved it. 5 stars
5/10/05 X worth the line wait 5 stars
5/10/05 nikki definately worth a look 5 stars
5/08/05 Snickerdoodle Weird in a good way, and very imaginative 4 stars
5/08/05 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
5/06/05 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
5/04/05 Ethan Acres Screenplay obviously written by Vogons 2 stars
5/04/05 ZF better than expected, very funny, great production design 4 stars
5/04/05 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
5/03/05 Whatevr cool 5 stars
5/03/05 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
5/02/05 Lowtax So what was all that shovel face slapping time wasting crap about? 1 stars
5/02/05 Tommy It doesn't do justice to the book or to the fans. 1 stars
5/02/05 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
5/01/05 bullit16 What was laugh-out-loud funny in the book, just wasn't on the screen 3 stars
5/01/05 Teri SILLY 3 stars
5/01/05 Rageim Support the movie ,Maybe get better in next movie. 4 stars
5/01/05 Richard Sucked 1 stars
5/01/05 Dorothy Malm not bad but movies are rarely as good as the book 4 stars
5/01/05 Joe Buss Pretty funny 4 stars
4/30/05 herrinfamily none 3 stars
4/30/05 John Bale Strong supporting cast and Jim Hanson's monsters help this space satire 4 stars
4/30/05 Darren Shea Good, but not great. Likely to be a letdown if you've memorized the books,or other versions 4 stars
4/30/05 The Grinch Pretty damned good for 2 hours...I don't think Joe Moviegoer could've handled 3 hrs.. 4 stars
4/30/05 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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