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Hitchhiker's Guide
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Okay, that's enough Social Security talk for now...I'll give you guys a break.

I saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this weekend, and sweet fancy Moses it was bad.

[Obligatory Spoiler Warning]

Oh dear. Where to start?

This review from my local indie media rag does a pretty good job.

Adams' story, which once went from here to there to way over there without much use for a map of any kind, was just a flimsy excuse on which he hung his anarchic gags and ticklish jabs; Hitchhiker's Guide had a plot the same way Duck Soup had a plot. You reveled in the dialogue, the hysterical exchanges between Ford and Arthur, the lines that meant nothing but you kept in your head and heart as though you'd written them yourself.


The screenplay is credited to Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick, who wrote Chicken Run and James and the Giant Peach; his are unimpeachable credits, alas. But Kirkpatrick and director Garth Jennings, a maker of music videos, have picked off the juicy meat and left only a bone for us to gnaw on. They've reduced mayhem to a polite, throat-clearing ahem, replacing the playful witticisms and nutty scenarios with more conventional sci-fi situations (there is even a Star Wars gag for you to gag on) and the pointless addition of a romance between Arthur and Trillian. The droll has been made dull, a most inexplicable and unfortunate turn of events for so adored a genius, goofball work as this.

Not a bad start, but I think the review fails to convey just how bad the movie is. I haven't read the books for something like 20 years, but I didn't need to reread them to realize how badly they'd butchered things.

Worst parts:

1) Arthur Dent, when asked to come up with a question to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, says, "Is she really the one?" (meaning Trillian). Gag...hack...sputter. Puke.

2) In a made-up bit of storyline, the heroes are sent to retrieve a "Point of View Gun", which when you shoot at someone instantly makes them aware of your perspective on things. (Incidentally, this plot thread is summarily dropped.) In an agonizingly long scene, Trillian shoots Zaphod several times and looks teary as Zaphod recounts her innermost feelings. When the gun is turned on her, before it can be shot she says, "No need, I'm already a woman." Gag...double-over...wheeze. Dry heave.

3) Just about every moment Sam Rockwell is onscreen as Zaphod Beeblebrox. Here's an interview in which he talks about how he modeled much of the character on George Bush. Cause you know, nothing's funnier than yucking around like a clueless idiot with a Texas accent. Oh, my sides.

I thought it would be okay to see it, to go in with pretty low expectations and just go along. Now I wish I hadn't seen it, that even though I hadn't read the books in years, I still had a faintly nostalgic warm remembrance of them. Unfortunately, now I've got the ugly taste of this piece of crap in my mouth.

Maybe it is time to read the books again.

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