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THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005)

Movie Review by David Blackwell

Don't Panic. The HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY movie blew me away. It is one of the best sci-fi films of 2005. The movie has plenty of laughs, nods to the HITCHHIKER'S books and the low budget BBC series from the early 1980s, and an excellent cast. Director Garth Jennings has respected the work of the late Douglas Adams. The movie adaptation is the latest version of THE HITCHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY which started out as a radio serial which was turned into a novel and then was adapted into a TV series (before finding more life as a comic book and a video game). It is too bad that Douglas Adams still isn't around to see this latest take which was mostly based on a screenplay he was working on at the time of his death. Douglas added some new characters and events that didn't appear in previous versions.

My first introduction to THE HITCHHIKER'S GUDIE TO THE GALAXY was by watching the low budget BBC series which aired on my local PBS station. I eventually tracked down the novel and read it. Later, I read the other four books in the Increasingly Inaccurately Named Hitchiker's Trilogy. I was hooked. The 2005 movie pays tribute to the TV series by using the theme tune from the TV series, a cameo appearance for the original Marvin, and Guide entries that look (and sound) like the entries in the series.

Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) starts out with a very bad day. His house is about to destroyed to make way for a freeway bypass and his best friend, Ford Perfect (Mos Def), tells him the Earth is about to be destroyed in 12 minutes to make way for a hyperspace route. Arthur's troubles have only begun. Just make sure you don't listen to a Vogon recite poetry. Arthur and Ford stowaway on one of the Vogon ships (Vogons don't like hitchhikers). They soon hook up with Galatic President Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), who stole an experimental starship, and Trillian (Zooey Deschanel) whom Arthur has a crush on since the day Zaphod whisked her away from a party that Arthur attended.

I love the Point of View gun. It's pure genius. Bill Nighy is great as Slartibartfast and has convinced me that Bill needs to play the Doctor on DOCTOR WHO. The special effects are light years beyond the cheap effects in the TV series. Alan Rickman captures the right voice for Marvin the manically depressed robot. I don't know if this review can do the movie justice because you might have to be a Douglas Adams fan to appreciate some of it. New stuff not in previous versions of HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GLAXY include a visit to the Vogon homeworld and Zaphod taking a slight detour to visit a political rival he beat in the Presidential election.

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUDIE TO THE GALAXY is a riot. Fans of the books and TV series will get all of the in-jokes. You should also visit the fantastic web site designed for the movie because it is one of the best movie sites I have ever visited. I hope the DVD matches the greatness of the web site and the movie. It would be criminal if it was anything less. This intelligent sci-fi movie isn't for everyone, but it will probably be one of the bright spots of this year. I really want to see this movie again very soon (to see the guide entry during the closing credits since the movie theater person didn't mention it).

this movie Review is (c)5-6-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia