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.