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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Early Reviews and Updates!

Published April 20, 2005 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Touchstone
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Latest poster [for us] on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I am almost done with the second book for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy titled The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. After coming this far I have decided that I really like this book and enjoy the creativity and simple humor that it contains. Now, a lot of fans, including myself, are ready for the upcoming Hitchhiker's Guide movie adaptation [the first book] coming out this April 29th. But the question still stands on whether it is good. So is it?

The true answer still remains unknown, especially in light of the latest negative review that has taken the internet fan base by storm. The latest review even went on to say that Hitchhiker's Guide was a worst attempt at film making than Phantom Menace. Wha wha! Well, I have done some research and now offer you quite a few reports that speak differently.

Early Hitchhiker's Guide Reviews

Here is the best list I could create to help give you a better idea of what to expect from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. Please read with caution [may be SPOILERS], and DONT PANIC.

Here is the first positive report that is unofficial and reported on these forums:

The Opening: Possibly the greatest musical number in the history of motion pictures. You will sh*t yourself silly during the opening theme, "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish". It was a great way to start the movie and quite fitting with the type of humor you'd expect.

The Biggest Problem: I felt that the movie slowed down unecessarily in certain places - namely the Earth sequence at the beginning and one part involving a character that was added to the screenplay by Adams, played by John Malkovich - and because this is a screening, I'll have to do the obligatory "there are lots and lots of changes that will be made from now to the movie's release." More than a few things were left unanswered as well, so I'd like to see them either bring those plot elements full-circle or, at the very least, set them up for the inevitable sequel.

The Greatest Thrill: If I were to give a percentage, this movie is 86% true to the book. IMHO, that's a very hard thing to do with something as detailed as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The special effects are incredible, the sets go from dull to completely cosmic (Slartibartfast's tour is SUPERB and I'll be damned if the Vogon's aren't exactly how I imagined them while reading the books). Dare I say that the inter-relationships between our main characters are ALMOST better than the book - and even though I always pictured Arthur as an older-looking fellow, Martin Freeman (The Office) *is* Arthur Dent. Wow, does he ever fit the bill perfectly!

[more early reviews below]

A positive report from Sean D Solle:

I loved it.

Especially all the new material. Five years ago, Douglas burst into our office, plonked himself down in an armchair, and started printing stuff from his powerbook. "Here", he enthused, "tell me what you think of this!". As each page peeled off the printer, I read it, jaw sufficiently agape to swallow a rodent whole, and passed it on to my equally eager teammates.

It was the Vogshpere slapstick scene, and Douglas had been writing it on the plane over to London. And he was asking *us* what we thought of it. And there it was, even funnier on the big screen than it had been in our office.

In fact, I rather wished there was more new stuff, for two reasons. Firstly, there's not nearly enough of Douglas's material in the world, so the more the merrier. And secondly, the old stuff kept making me cry. (Mostly at the thought that Douglas couldn't see it, but also at the relief that it was actually, finally, unbelievably on a cinema screen, and that they hadn't, for example, forgotten to put film in the cameras).

But, to be honest, your best bet is to ignore everything I've said, and just go and see it, because even if you want to nail the production team to inverted crosses for blaspheming the gospel according to your signed leather-bound ultimate edition, you won't see another movie like this for a *long* time :-)

Here is a negative report posted at AICN:

Speaking of which, The Guide describes humans as the THIRD most intelligent species on the planet which must be true since I can’t think of a dolphin or a mouse that would shell out $10 to see this Galaxy. Marvin’s repeated insistence that “this will all end in tears,” is side-splittingly funny though ultimately ironic since by the end of the film we find that tears would at least mean we’d been engaged. In point of fact, it all just sort of ends, tearless and meandering. Incidentally, The Guide also describes humans as so primitive that we still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea and I can confirm that fact since I glanced at mine repeatedly during the film.

There is also a positive early review [of the unfinished film] on the same page:

Visually, the movie was absolutely perfect. The entire scene of Earth's destruction felt like it came straight out of my imagination. And oh what a joy it was to see The Guide itself unfurl. While it was really no more than a glorified Flash animation on a laptop, the animation was executed with great wit and respect for Adams' sense of humor.

Don't allow the uneven acting and minor inconsistencies to detract from your anticipation of this movie. The Heart of Gold was great. Arthur's tour of Earth v2.0 with Slartibartfast was great. The Vogons (and their planet) were great. Deep Thought was great. The sperm whale's existential crisis via free-fall was great. To paraphrase The Guide itself, this film was Mostly Terrific.

Do you want more? Well, check out Part II of the early review round up for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

For trailers, clips, movie stills, and synopsis, check out The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie Page

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Sources: Image property of Touchstone

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