Directed by: Garth Jennings
Written by:Douglas Adams, Karey Kirkpatrick
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman
Released: April 28, 2005
Grade: C

Unfortunately for the citizens of Earth, they have just a few minutes to live.  Their planet has been scheduled for demolition to make way for a galactic super-highway.  Fortunately for Arthur Dent (Freeman), he’s just found out that his best friend, Ford Prefect (Def), is an alien and will help them both escape.  Ford has the universe’s top selling book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.  It’s a must have when traversing across the vast emptiness of space.  It tells about every planet, every culture and every creature you are likely to encounter.

Hitching a ride on an alien spacecraft, Ford meets an old friend named Zaphod Beeblebrox (Rockwell) who just so happens to be the President of the Universe.  They join him on a journey to find the question to the ultimate answer.

I expected big things from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy but was incredibly disappointed by the end result.  It’s little more than a disjointed mismatch of unfunny sketches.  What I mean is that there isn’t much story and the writers have tried to win the audience over with repetitious comedy.  There’s a depressed robot named Marvin who is voiced by the underrated English actor, Alan Rickman.  Marvin’s boring, tiresome dialogue left me frustrated beyond belief.

I can’t say much about the rest of the cast.  American Sam Rockwell is miscast as Beeblebrox.  Not one of his jokes hits the mark.  The only glimpse of promise in the whole production comes from his girlfriend, played by Zooey Deschanel.  I have been a fan of Deschanel since her performances in Almost Famous, All The Real Girls and Eulogy.  She is destined for big things and Hitchhiker, for those who waste their time and go see it, will give her great exposure.

I haven’t read the famous novel by Douglas Adams but went along with a friend who had read the book many times.  His comments were that the best parts of the book were overlooked.  Like any major book adaptation, there will always be a difference of opinion as to what should and shouldn’t be included.  All I say is that if you’ve enjoyed Adams’ book, don’t necessarily think you’ll enjoy the movie.

It may have been filmed and produced in the UK but The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy has fallen victim to the US summer blockbuster syndrome – where films are all hype with no quality.  Judging from other reviews and opinions on the internet, I think 50% will agree with me and 50% will not.  If you’re on my side, it’s definitely time to panic!