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Overall Rating

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 J. K. Radtke

"I couldn't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys about this film."
1 stars

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy virgin. The book was something I’d always anticipated reading, at some point, but never quite set aside the time to make happen. However, with the release of the film, I felt a sudden sense of urgency too not only get the book read, but to familiarize myself with the series as much as possible. I’m sure this was, in some way, meant to help maximize whatever thrills and chills I’d planned to experience while watching the film.

Within the span of a month (February 2005), I managed to smoke through the first four books in the series, and learn a little bit about Hitchhiker and Douglas Adams (series creator) history. I was amazed to find out that the series actually started as a BBC radio series back in the 70’s, and didn’t take its literary shape until late 1979. I was also happy to learn that there was a BBC television series produced, too.

Looking back, I’m thinking all of that “familiarizing” I did actually had the opposite effect to which I had planned. Rather than finding even more joy from the film-going experience, I found myself sitting there, nitpicking, and generally having a less than okay time. In fact, as I sit here, trying to contrive a reasonable means for reviewing this film that flat out disappointed me—a fact that would earn any other film a thorough thrashing—I find pieces of myself, buried deep within my hefty frame, crying desperately to find something to praise. It’s this inner turmoil, with one side battling the other over just how much I detest this film—a little, or a lot—that has my brain in a slump. So, I’m just going to let it fly…

Fans of the books, or radio series, or stage play, or computer game, or BBC television series, are probably going to be disappointed—unless you’re extremely forgiving. While the flick looks incredibly slick at times—the tour of the Magrathea factory floor is, admittedly, breathtaking to watch—it seemed to fall flat at others—the horrendous digital work on Zaphod Beeblebrox’s (Sam Rockwell) head, which is underneath his main head, is an embarrassment for whatever effects team that did it. Or, if it isn’t perceived as such, it should be. However, despite the spotty computer effects, I can definitely attribute some brownie points to whomever made the decision to use Jim Henson’s puppet studio for the race of Vogons. This was a brilliant move that seems almost novel, considering moviegoers can’t turn around without having CGI characters thrown in their faces these days. Henson’s team managed to give the flick an organic feel that aided in their increased appeal, in spite their hideousness.

Acting wise, I can’t say anyone did a bad job, though there weren’t any terribly good performances either. Mos Def (as Ford Prefect), Zooey Deschanel (as Trillian), and, much to my surprise, Sam Rockwell (whom I had expected to shine as the President of the Galaxy) were flat throughout the film. The jokes dependent on Ford and Zaphod weren’t funny, because the characters were uneven and unlikable. Zooey was just too cutesy to be taken seriously as a space traveling Earth-woman of above intelligence; though, the new mini-romance that rears its head between Trillian and Arthur doesn’t help matters. Bill Nighy and John Malkovich are admirable in their portrayals of Slartibartfast and Humma Kavula (respectively) for what little they had to do. Martin Freeman’s turn as series hero, Arthur Dent, is probably the best in capturing the spirit of the character, but due to an indiscernible plot, we’re too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on with the story to really attempt a connection.

The first few minutes of the film play out fine, but definitely sends up enough red flags for longtime fans to know that this story isn’t merely going to be told with new twists—as Adams was prone to do with each telling—this is going to be a completely new story with more new elements than old, making it hardly recognizable to pre-existing fans. What few jokes that are carried over from prior incarnations have been trimmed down to the point that they’re no longer funny, rendering the attempt for familiarity pointless. It’s as if the makers decided to surgically remove all of Adams’ wit and wordplay (which is what gave this series its soul, earning its legions of fans), and replaced it a barrel full of sight gags, slapstick, and lame one-liners Carrot Top wouldn’t be caught dead repeating.

They took what should have been an epic science fiction comedy—twenty-five years in the making—and turned it into a sloppy Happy Meal of a movie. The filmmaker’s seeming refusal to even explain why having a towel with you at all times is so important, or explain what the Guide has to say about Earth as written by Ford, is unforgivable. These are two of the very basic jokes that helped to launch the story into a worldwide phenomenon, and they’re all but ignored in this film. That’s it, I’m convinced, all of me finally hates this movie now. I shudder to think of what a sequel will look like, should they dare attempt one, considering all of the “tweaks.”

Perhaps those ignorant of the story can find some level of entertainment in this film, but as a fan going in, I feel nothing but disappointment and contempt. To quote Marvin, the Paranoid Android, “I’ve seen it. It’s rubbish.”

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11932&reviewer=386
originally posted: 05/01/05 23:28:12
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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
1/15/06 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
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 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
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  29-Apr-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Sep-2005



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