The time has arrived, and the long-awaited Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Movie opened today. Chip, Houston, Anna, and several of Chip’s friends and I went to see it last night. We only had to wade through a few nerds wearing bath robes and carrying their towels.
The movie had gotten some bad advance reviews, mostly stating that the many of the original jokes were missing. Come on. Sure, I missed some of the classic jokes, such as “mostly harmless”, but the essense was there. The original series consisted of twelve half-hour shows, the trilogy is made up of five volumes, and none of the versions match each other. Something HAS to be omitted to fit into a 2-hour movie. I thought they did a wonderful job of keeping the spirit and humor of the HHG universe, while streamlining the plot and characters and adding new jokes and concepts. I laughed, and at the end I was smiling, so despite any short comings, I liked it.
Alan Rickman’s voice-over for Marvin was perfect, and Bill Nighy did a great job as Slartibartfarst. Mos Def and Sam Rockwell were very good as Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Martin Freeman portrays the Everyman Arthur Dent the appropriate degree of baffledom. The only disappointment might be Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, who came off as a bit more flighty than I might have liked.
Oddly enough, the show was produced by Disney, and most of the previews were kid-oriented. I’ve never thought of HHG as a child’s series, especially with references to Eccentrica Galaticus, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six. The movie was suitably sanitized from such inferences, but I still wondered about the families that were bringing young kids to a 9:45 showing. Oh well.
I did manage to freak out the girl sitting next to me. After hearing only to subtle references that any normal human would have missed, I turned to her and asked at which elementary school she taught. She looked at me bewildered and replied that she taught at a school in Charleston. Teachers – I can spot them from miles away.