Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Movies: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is one of the most popular sci-fi comedies ever made. I only read the novels as a kid, but the first version of the story was actually a BBC radio production. One of the most recent adaptations is the 2005 film directed by Garth Jennings.

The movie covers the misadventures of Arthur Dent, a put-upon Everyman who finds out that his good friend is an alien, the Earth has been destroyed, and his old girlfriend is dating the Galactic President. In other words, it's a mostly-faithful recreation of the plot of the novel, with some new plotlines being woven into the existing fabric. Overall, it starts and ends in the same place.

The biggest new addition is the romantic relationship between Arthur and Trillian, something that I believe is unique to this version. Other than that change, it's the HGG we all know and love, just with a shinier set of paint. Effects-wise, the production values are off the charts. Anyone who cringed at the absurd Zaphod makeup used in the BBC TV series won't have to be embarrassed here. All in all, it's a good movie, but a bit predictable for longtime fans.

Rating: 7/10


At 9:18 PM, Blogger K. Russell said...

I am new to the blogging environment and to the Hitchhikers Guide! I am taking a ScFi class and we have to select a series of books for a project. I have selected this series, but have not started the book yet! Before starting I was wondering if you had any insight you can share about the series?

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

Sounds like an interesting class.

I think the biggest thing to remember when you read the Hitchhiker's series is that it's only very loosely a "series" - the tone of "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish," for instance, is markedly different than the rest of the books. This kind of glib approach to continuity is actually a long-running tradition in British sci-fi - see "Doctor Who."

The series as a whole does take the position that a search for meaning in the Universe will ultimately end in more confusion. There's a certain despair in that premise, so Adams really makes a point of including Marvin the Paranoid Android in the various plots to make sure we don't take the doom and gloom too seriously.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger K. Russell said...

Thanks for the advice. I was told that there is a comedic side to the books as well. Do you think there is and if so is it dark?


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