The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
... movie reviews , spoiler_medium
sun 2005-may-01 11:24:52 pdt
So friday night we went to see The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and naturally we brought our
towels. As a long-time fan of the books, I of course had high hopes
for the film version, though I tried not to set my expectations too
high for fear of being disappointed.
Most of the new elements were great: the Humma Kavula character (John
Malkovich does a great job), the Point-of-View Gun, the recurring
appearances of the Vogon bureaucrats, and so on -- all these things
worked quite well. I also liked the handling of Zaphod's two heads
and three arms. That could have used a bit more explanation, I
suppose, but didn't really need it.
One change that I was less happy about was Trillian's interest in
Arthur, which seemed fairly gratuitous -- like, you can't make a movie
without the lead male character kissing the girl he's been after in
the end. Her character development leading up to that was at least
believable, it just made her not really the Trillian from the book.
And I'm not complaining about unfaithfulness to the book here, I'm
just saying it's gratuitous and Hollywood-ish; it didn't really seem
to add much, and changes the dynamics, especially if they do a sequel.
Then again, if it means Trillian will appear more in the sequel movies
(assuming they make any) than she did in the books, maybe that's not a
Of course every time something directly out of the book came up, I was
thrilled to see it -- for example, several of the Guide entries, which
Stephen Fry does a great job with. And Alan Rickman's voicing of
Marvin is spot-on. The effects of the improbability drive, while not
taken straight from the book, were brilliantly adapted to the screen.
The part where they all turn into knitted puppets was perhaps my
favorite scene of the movie.
So in the end I was not in the least disappointed. It not only lived
up to my hopes, it actually exceeded them: I thought it was
brilliantly done, and captures the spirit and humor of the books
beautifully. My biggest complaint was simply that it ended too soon
-- I wanted more.