“The best laid plans of mice….”

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Yes, I know and I’m truly sorry.

To my one avid reader who commented that he was waiting for the review:

SORRY 🙁

Again the actual work getting in the way of blah, blah, blah…. So…

It’s been a while since I used to write these things for a living so you’ll have to forgive my ring-rustiness. Went to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (no hyphen these days… Maybe our American cousins would get confused….?) on Wed and like all Summer blockbusters there are good and bad elements on show.

Rejoice that Martin Freeman (Arthur), Mos Def (Ford) and Zooey Deschanel (Trillian) are well up to scratch and Sam Rockwell as Zaphod has such lovely comic timing and is so brilliantly “alien” that he steals the show by a long shot. Alan Rickman’s v/o as Marvin got lots of laughs from the preview crowd and Stephen Fry is the perfect choice for the voice of the Guide. It all looks dazzling, visually creative and expensive and, when they stick to elements from the original book, they do fans proud. And thus to the gripe…

I’m always worried about adaptations from original books I love. Almost invariably most of your favourite stuff gets left out and the experience is NEVER as satisfying as reading the story in it’s entirety. I am also a realist and accept that any big screen version has to cut elements for time but for me here’s the rub:

Here they leave great stuff out in favour of a whole bunch of new stuff that I don’t really like at all…

There are new characters (yes, I know Douglas Adams wrote John Malkovich’s character before he passed away but that doesn’t make a difference!), new scenes and worst of all the existing storyline has been twisted, turned and distorted out of shape for no apparent reason in places. For me it’s the equivalent of someone coming into your living room, re-arranging all the furniture while you’re out and replacing that coffee table you’ve always loved with a couple of planks being held up by cinder blocks.

The original story has been made to fit a conventional action movie three act structure – there are villians chasing our heroes throughout the film, a violent climax where you think one of the characters is dead but instead they save the day and even a happy ending setting you up for the sequel.

Worst of all there’s now a love story…

THERE IS NO LOVE STORY IN HHTG!!!!!!

IT’S SCIENCE FICTION!!!!!!!

BLOODY HOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grrrrrrrrrrr……….. Deep breaths, deep breaths……

To be fair my grumps are relatively minor and those who have never read the books, seen the tv or heard the radio series won’t know the difference anyway! One way or the other I do recommend highly that you check most of it our and just bite your lip for the rest….

On the other hand there’s one I haven’t gotten to see yet; Zack Braff’s Garden State (yeah, he who plays JD in the excellent Scrubs). My wife and her friend went the other night and left after 20 minutes. She described it to me as “your typical drug and orgy fuelled arthouse twaddle. You’ll love it!” No prizes for guessing what’s next on my list…

R

0 thoughts on ““The best laid plans of mice….”

  1. Considering the history of HG2TG, how does the movie compare to the radio serial which started everything off?

  2. Glad to find a kindred soul on the subject of H2G2! Went to see the film last Saturday with some trepidation and most of my fears were proved right. Knowing Hammer & Tongs’ background makes some sense of it because it felt like an extended video rather than a film. I’m sure the film wasn’t much more than an hour and a half long, it skimmed the book too much I thought, Marvin wasn’t as funny as he should’ve been, Slartibartfast wasn’t half old enough and, as you said, THERE WAS NO LOVE STORY IN THE BOOK. There was pretty much a surrender to Hollywood convention in the plotline, but I thought visually it looked amazing (apart from Marvin who looked better in the series) and Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was excellent. Rant over. : )

  3. Er…hello Lord Rick, I’ know you are all p****d about the new scenes and the romance, but i must inform u ur ranting is blasphemy of sorts;Douglas Adams wrote the screenplay and added the love and the new scenes because as faboo as naboo as the original book and radio series were all movies need looove and a funny bit with a dog…as adams himself pointed out b4 death by johnmcenroeitis

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