May 17, 2005
Movie Review: HHGTTG
All in all, I thought Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a very good movie. I think they did a good job of adapting Douglas Adams's book to the screen (which makes sense, since Adams himself did most of the adaptation before he died). Some things did change -- the slapstick thought-smackers weren't in the books as far as I can remember, and the Trillian-Arthur stuff was played up quite a bit to make for a little bit of internal conflict.
But for the most part they either did what I would have imagined, or something else suitably wacky. Casting Alan Rickman as Marvin the depressed robot was a great move, though I never pictured him as plodding along like movie-Marvin did. The Heart of Gold looked good (my imagination could only conjure up a retro-sci-fi rocket ship for that one) and the Infinite Improbability Drive firing up was done well ("Ford?" "Yeah?" "I think I'm a sofa." "I know how you feel.").
Zaphod's second head was kind of odd, but having an off-center prosthetic head would have been horrible from an effects point of view. The compromise they reached was acceptable, I guess. Zaphod was acted well enough, never knowing whether he was crazy like a fox, just plain crazy, or not all that bright.
Mos Def as Ford Prefect worked well; I kind of saw him playing the character like he did in the Italian Job remake, and I don't think my guess was too far off. Ford needs to have an aura of coolness about him, even when he doesn't know what's going on, and I think Mos Def does that well.
I won't get into the story, for fear of spoilers and because I can't remember too well which parts they imported from the other books. But I am looking forward to what I assume will be upcoming sequels, complete with Krikket robots, the Bistromath and SEP Fields. And God's Last Message to His Creation would be nice, too.