I’ve been a big fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams since I first read it a few years ago, so I was excited to see that they were making a new movie based on the book. My anticipation only increased when I saw the trailers for the movie were a bit quirky—like the books—and still appeared to be high quality products. In particular, I really enjoyed the trailer that was about the Guide‘s entry for “movie trailers.”
My brother, Jason, and I went to see the movie on Friday; the theater wasn’t very crowded, but it wasn’t deserted either. It was a good turnout for what—I have to admit—is a very strange and curious book. From the outset, I was nervous that the film would be much worse than I expected: the previews featured several hideous Disney films, one of which was in 3-D. Yeah.
However, the film turned out to be both entertaining and reasonably well-done. My biggest gripe with the film is that there was an obvious effort to develop a romantic tension and provide a clean ending without any of the frayed edges of the books. I admit that the task of taking the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the screen must have been a nightmare, given the intricacies, plot shifts, and narrative digressions of Adams’ stories. Like the book, the movie jumps from one locale to the next with nary a guidepost, but unlike the text, the film never fills in the connective tissues that allow the story to retain true coherence at the end.
Overall, I would highly recommend The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie to anyone who has read the books. Those readers will understand why things in the movie happen the way they do and appreciate much more of the subtle humor and nods to Adams’ earlier adaptations of his story.