Monday, May 02, 2005

Movie review : Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My wife and I saw Hitchhiker's Guide yesterday, and I'd love to be able to say it was a great movie and I loved every minute of it, but I'm afraid that I cannot. The movie began well enough, explaining that humanity was not, as it had long believed, the most intelligent species on Earth - but was in fact only the third most intelligent. The second most intelligent species, the dolphins, had long had it's attempts at communication misconstrued as elaborate tricks for our amusement. And it's final message to humanity, "So long, and thanks for all the fish", appeared to us to be an elaborate triple backflip executed to punch a ball. So far, so good - this is all lifted verbatim from the book. After the voice of the Guide has related this information to the audience, a long musical number involving dolphins doing tricks while a song called "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish" plays takes over - and that's the point I knew this movie was in trouble. Why ruin the beautifully crafted absurdist humor Douglas Adams crafted into the tale of the dolphins final message to humanity before leaving the soon to be demolished Earth by turning it into a ridiculous musical number? I asked many similar questions throughout the film. In fact - I don't remember laughing at a single joke or comical situation in the movie. I was really disappointed, and won't recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the book, unless you just need to satisfy some morbid curiosity about how far wrong the filmmakers could get Douglas' work. My wife even commented later that "We should have gone to see XXX 2 - State of the Union". I couldn't have agreed more.

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