Monday, April 09, 2012

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
After the Earth is blown up, two humans are transported on guide of the galaxy.

Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is worried about his house being demolished to build a bypass. He soon has more to worry about, though, as seconds before Earth is blown up (to build a bypass) he is whisked away by his friend Ford Perfect (Mos Def) who turns out to be a galactic explorer.

They hitch a lift with the leader of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), who has stolen the love of his life, the newly renamed Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), and a chronically depressed robot (voiced by Alan Rickman).

There they have to avoid the attentions of the Vogons, a bureaucratic race, who are trying to save Zaphod from his alter-ego.

Having never read the book, never watched the television series or listened to the radio broadcasts, I was at a severe disadvantage when it came to the background of Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

A quick introduction sees Arthur Dent's home - both in the plot and global sense - about to be destroyed. Fear not though, as his binge drinking friend - who is actually an alien - is about to return the favour for saving his life when he first arrived on Earth. Such is the humour of THGTTG, that there was already snort-laughter from the very beginning.

In the way of storyline it offers very little which probably explains the success of the franchise as more suited to television or radio shows - as these mediums can spend far longer in each location explaining it in the comical tone. The problem the film has is that it needs to explain who the characters are for THGTTG novices as well as wrapping the story up at the end. In the middle the film tends to flit from location to location without offering any huge explanation as to the relevance of the narrative.

THGTTG isn't all bad though; it is rescued by director Garth Jennings' decision to stick with a relatively well known cast. Keeping the narrative ticking over in the background is the voice of Steven Fry who is perfectly suited for the role in his school headmaster-esque tones. Sam Rockwell doesn't look out of place due to his consistent appearance in the genre (Galaxy Quest, Moon & Cowboys and Aliens), Alan Rickman's monotonous drivel perfectly suits the depressed robot and Zooey Deschanel reclaims her role as the cutesy but strong-willed person that she played in (500) Days of Summer. The only relatively new face is Martin Freeman, who looks somewhat out of place - but then, so does his character.

Overall, a well cast film film surrounded in British humour.

13 comments:

  1. I loved these books and I enjoyed this movie quite a bit.

    I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    Tim
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. Thanks Timothy. I shall be sure to check out your blog soon!

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  2. Loved the movie beyond end. So I'm glad that you're at least writing about it, if not as enthusiastically as I would've.

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    1. Differing opinions are why are love reviewing films. I think HHGTTG would suit radio and a TV series far more successfully. It is very funny, but tries too hard to crap into a film.

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  3. Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. Lovely post...good luck with the challenge.

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Donna. I'll check out your blog soon.

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  4. I've never seen it! :) thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I am now a follower of yours!

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    1. Thanks Margo. Keep up the good work!

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  5. I read the book and never followed up with the movie. I knew Martin Freeman was in it, but not the other big names. Love those Brits! Thanks for the reminder to put it on my list. :)

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    1. So many big names. Without them, the film would probably have flopped.

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  6. My husband turned me on to the book (I still intend to read the rest of the series, one of these days...). It's been so long since we've seen the movie though. All I remember is feeling less than ecstatic about it. But maybe it's time to rent it again and give it another try!

    ~Lynn
    http://www.acommonsea.com

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    1. My girlfriend has just bought the entire series. I'm surprised though - I thought that as fans of the series you would have enjoyed the movie.

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  7. I would watch anything to see Zooey! Her sister Emily rocks on Bones.

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