edit: i got a request to fill out my initial post and submit it as a review, damned editors.
On Tuesday night we were fortunate enough to catch a preview screening of the Hitch Hiker`s Guide to the Galaxy. There are not enough words for me to express how pleased I am with this movie. After many false starts, the big budget, Hollywood version is finally here and it doesn`t seem any worse for wear, but it is a mostly British production from a screenplay started by the late Douglas Adams.
As with all other versions of HHGTG; radio play, BBC mini series, book; a consistent idiosyncrasy is a the extension of story lines that for that particular medium. The movie is no different and expands Arthur`s love of Trillian, as well as the development of the Humma Kavula storyline.
The cast is amazing and features voice talents of Alan Rickman as Marvin the Paranoid Android, Helen Mirren as Deep Thought and Stephen Fry as the Guide. Rapper turned actor Mos Def stars as Ford Prefect, Sam Rockwell; in another over the top performance; as President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and British character actor, Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent. The actual Guide entries; developed British animation firm Shynola; stole the show with every appearance, if you`re one of those people who leaves immediately as the credits start to roll, i suggest you stick around, there`s one last Guide entry as the credits roll. Die hard HHGTG fans will be amused by a couple of special asides, including the BBC mini series` Marvin, as well as the Douglas Adams planet from Starship Titanic game.
The movie is CGI intensive but not to the point of abuse and my favourite scene is the Heart of Gold; the ship our erstwhile heroes end up on; going through infinite probabilities to arrive at a destination, including one probability where the entire ship and crew are turned into yarn. The movie is billed as a comedy but there are a lot of touching moments, that are genuine and uncontrived. One of the things that makes this movie so enjoyable is an almost childlike innocence and joy that seemed to characterise Douglas Adams. This is helped by an almost completely British production that understand how to be funny without resorting to blatant stupidity as evidenced by the So Long and Thanks for all the Fish song over the opening credits.
At the end of of the film as the Heart of Gold phases through infinite probabilities, there is a brief flash of Adams` face before the credits start rolling with the words `For Douglas`. This movie is a faithful interpretation of a beloved book and is sure to make long time fans happy and create a new generation of fans.
Remember to walk with your towels.