The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

*****

Reviewed by: Kotleta

Man might think that he's the most intelligent life form on earth but this is simply a dreadful mistake. He's barely the third most intelligent. Dolphins, obviously, come in second. If you want to find out what species is actually in charge of life, the universe and everything, you're going to have to watch this film.

The worst day of your pathetically humdrum life can't compare to Arthur Dent's. He's just blown it with the girl of his dreams, who's ditched him for the two-headed, three-armed, half ginger alien president of the galaxy, and his house is about to be bulldozed to make way for a bypass. Which would be largely irrelevant if only he knew that the whole of planet Earth is actually scheduled for destruction by the Vogons (intergalactic civil servants) at about the same time.

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Luckily for Arthur, his best mate Ford Prefect is an alien who owes him a favour - and not an unemployed actor with a dodgy accent, after all - so instead of being blown up with the rest of us, he hitches a ride on a spaceship to explore the universe in search of "the ultimate question". Ford is actually a contributor to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, whose 15 years of experience on our planet can be condensed into the entry; "Earth: Mostly Harmless". Ah, if only he'd met Mike Tyson. Travel writing has never been so exciting.

This is a very British film. If you like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python or simply laughing at stupid things, then you'll enjoy it.

Obsessive fans of the original radio play and subsequent books will probably not love it as much as I did. Admittedly, the script doodlers have reduced a lot of the original material to a central rom-com narrative of bearded lady meets Mr Ben, dumps him for narcissistic moron, then... well, I won't spoil it.

As a soppy old romantic I didn't mind who got the girl as long as Arthur got his cup of tea. Genuine travel writers and space explorers will understand the difference between translation and equivalency and appreciate that when it comes to an adaptation, this is as good as it gets. Everyone else will just have to accept that this is a brilliantly funny and randomly daft film. The dolphins would approve.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Reviewed on: 29 Apr 2005
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Douglas Adam's classic end of the world comedy finally makes it to the silver screen.
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John Gallagher ****

Director: Garth Jennings

Writer: Douglas Adams, Karey Kirkpatrick, based on the radio play/TV play/book by Douglas Adams

Starring: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell, Bill Nighy, John Malkovich, Kelly Macdonald, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, the voices of Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Richard Griffiths, Ian McNeice, Mak Wilson

Year: 2005

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK/US

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