I was going to start this review with a paraphrased quote from the radio series or the book, preferably one that either had ‘…so good. You might think that Citizen Kane is a good film, but that’s peanuts to ‘The Hitchhiker’s…’ or, conversely, ‘…so bad. You might think that ‘Queen of the Damned’ was a bad film, but that’s peanuts to…’ et cetera.
I’m not though. Partially because one MJ Simpson has already done so but mostly because I really can’t be bothered. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the film (although I didn’t) it’s that I can’t be bothered making it out to be a big thing either way.
‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ is probably, for those who have never heard the radio series (or LPs) or read the books, fun and frolicism. It contains much that is funny, even if only vaguely, and… Well, that’s about it. Compared to any other version of ‘…the Guide…’ it is remarkably tame, timid and more incoherent. Indeed, it seems to miss the point of the original plotline(s).
I’m trying hard to be diplomatic about this review. Really hard. You see, people are enjoying this film and that aggravates me. Not because the film isn’t enjoyable; it obviously is. It’s just that it is such a meagre version of Adam’s work that I don’t see the point of it.
The film diverges from the radio series (which I will, for no good reason, take as being ‘the’ canon in several remarkable ways. The Vogons do a lot more, we meet the presidential candidate who ran opposite Zaphod and, well, the legend of Magrathea is strangely altered. The whole ‘Life, the Universe, Everything!’ sideral plot of the radio becomes the main motivation for the crew of the Heart of Gold (no resembling a teapot rather than a sports shoe). None of the new material does anything for the story (which was rather flimsy in the first instance) vbut it does do a number of things against it. The radio series worked because it was fast paced, but all this new nonsense slows the story of the film down.
I could go on for pages about this, but I’m not going to. I didn’t particulary enjoy the film but appreciate that it might well bring some new fans in to the ‘real’ stuff. It’s about time that we had a campaign for ‘Real Humour.’
(And yes, that’s probably the worst written review of a film I’ve ever done; it’s the subject material, I tell you.)