35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Sow's ear out of a silk purse.,
This review is from: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy [DVD] (DVD)
A bunch of us went to see this in the cinema the moment it came out; all of us massive Hitchiker's fans with (admittedly) huge expectations. It was a tragic experience. Despite the `thrill' of seeing all my favourite characters re-imagined in a big-budget movie, l was quite simply bored by the end and just wanted it to finish.
It's hard to describe exactly what is wrong with it. Certainly they've removed many of the best jokes, or at least shortened them to the point the humour is lost. All the little clever subtexts and subtleties are gone. The (somewhat random) lurching storyline is gone too, replaced (apparently for no good reason) with a simplified version which can be summed up by "Earth blown up, but it's OK `cos they've made another one" with a new, seemingly irrelevant, section in the middle.
Martin Freeman's Arthur is OK but lacks the bewildered naivety that was so crucial to the original. Zaphod is less Captain Jack Sparrow and more Jar Jar Binks; the `disappearing' second head it a HUGE copout - the one effect they could've pulled off with CGI and they didn't bother. Alan Rickman should've made a great Marvin, but it didn't work - instead of the morose dark wit and resigned acceptance, the new Marvin just comes across as slightly irritated.
Listen to the radio series, and you'll be laughing constantly all the way through. Listen to it again, and you'll be laughing constantly at all the jokes you didn't get the first time. When I bought it on CD in my thirties, I discovered a whole new level of humour that I didn't notice in my teens. The film version yielded approximately one laugh per 20 minutes.
I make no apologies for comparing this with the originals; they took some of the best characters, concepts and dialogue ever written and watered them down so much the result is insipid, humourless and frankly boring. It's just a bad film.