Movie Review – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Movie Synopsis: Right before the earth gets destroyed to make room for an interstellar highway, human Arthur Dent is rescued by his friend Ford and transported off the planet, where he meets an array of strange and amazing lifeforms, and has to learn to adapt in a universe that is more strange and confusing than he ever though imaginable.

Movie Review:  This film was based on the humourous science fiction writings of Douglas Adams. Adams had great success writing ludicrous and bizarre science fiction that often had little point or little sense to the story. The filmmakers attempted to take the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a “trilogy in five parts” according to Adams, and adapt it into one movie.  In terms of the negatives on the film, I would say overall this movie did not fully succeed in adapting Adams’ offbeat and strange humour, which works so well in written form, into a mainstream movie.  Many funny points did occur, but some scenes just did not work, and likely left audiences puzzled as opposed to amused.  In addition, we also had several instances where the film is interrupted by excerpts from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, giving us some advice and providing us with background to this odd universe. This was an interesting decision, as it gave us a chance to see something sometimes funny, although it also interrupted the flow of the film and the storyline. On the plus side, the acting on the film was phenomenal, in particular Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, BBC Sherlock Holmes) as the main character Arthur Dent; Alan Rickman (Harry Potter Series) who voiced the depressed robot Marvin with a perfect tone of defeatism and sadness; Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Almost Famous) played the lead female protagonist of Trillian; and Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) playing a wise god-like character to great effect.  An interesting piece of trivia is that Alan Rickman’s fellow Harry Potter alumni Warwick Davis played the physical movements for Marvin. Overall, this film was amusing and interesting, however it is a clear example of a case where a very funny and successful series of books doesn’t quite get translated seamlessly to the movie screen. Still worth a watch, definitely great acting and amusing lines, but not the greatest thing that ever happened.

Overall: 3 stars out of 5 stars.

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