Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (15)
Written by Douglas Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick, Directed by Garth Jennings
On general release from 29th April 2005
Babel fish. Pangalactic gargleblasters. Life, the universe and everything.
Since the late Douglas Adams published his incredible novel in 1979, his
creations have become the stuff of cult legend, and the BBC series of
the early 1980s captured the imagination of a generation. This film has
more or less been in the making since then, so is it worth the wait?
For the uninitiated, go and see it! Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is just
waking up one Saturday morning when he discovers his house is about to
be demolished to make way for a by-pass. If that’s not bad enough,
his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) turns up and tells him he’s not
really from Guildford after all but a small planet somewhere in the vicinity
of Betelgeuse, and they only have ten minutes before the Earth itself
is demolished to make way for a hyperspace by-pass. That’s when
things really start to get weird, and they travel through space and time
with only The Book (voiced by Stephen Fry) for guidance.
For the hardcore fans, there’s good news and bad news. The bad
news is that the emphasis is more on the sci-fi aspect, so many of the
laughs have gone and I found myself waiting for classic lines that just
didn’t show up. To make matters worse, almost all the actors pale
in comparison to their small screen counterparts. Zooey Deschanel is certainly
telegenic, but her performance as Trillian is atrocious. However, if you
keep an open mind there is also much to enjoy. The bigger budget does
more justice to the scope of Douglas Adams’ genius. Adams personally
approved many of the changes, and you can certainly see his fingerprints
on some new scenes, such as the hilarious Church of the Great White Handkerchief.
Don’t Panic, the 21st century Guide is mostly harmless.