Directed by: Garth Jennings
Premise: An adaptation of Douglas Adams cult science fiction novel. Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) becomes a galactic hitchhiker when Earth is destroyed by an alien construction crew making way for a space freeway.
What Works: The film features very self-conscious, ironic humor that ought to appeal to the fans of the book. It has the unusual distinction of being a science fiction comedy, which is refreshing for a genre that often takes itself too seriously. Hitchhiker’s Guide is gorgeous to look at. The aliens and locations are some of the most original and interesting creations science fiction has seen in a long time.
What Doesn’t: Unfortunately, the film’s characters, both human and alien, do not actually do much, besides getting yanked from one corner of the galaxy to the other for no apparent reason. The film lacks a narrative drive or purpose and this weakens the drama. As an adaptation, the film borrows too much from its source. The use of near constant voice over narration is very intrusive and gets obnoxious.
Bottom Line: Although being hit and miss in places, the film is a worthy effort. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a funny film that ought to appeal to fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mel Brooks comedies, and 1950s science fiction.
Episode:#50 (May 1, 2005)