The 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

Reviewed by Adam Ford

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.

Printer friendly page