Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Everyone has bad mornings. You wake up late, you stub your toe, you burn the toast...but for a man named Arthur Dent, this goes far beyond a bad day. When he learns that a friend of his is actually an alien with advanced knowledge of Earth's impending destruction, he is transported off the Earth seconds before it is exploded to make way for a new hyperspace motorway. And as if that's not enough, throw in being wanted by the police, Earth II, an insane electronic encyclopedia, no tea whatsoever, a chronically depressed robot and the search for the meaning of life, and you've got the greatest adventure off Earth.Written by
Su Elliot: When Ford and Arthur drink at the pub early on, a middle-aged blonde can be seen watching them. According to the DVD commentary, this actress played Trillian in the London stage version of the story, a fact the director Garth Jennings was unaware of until the day of shooting. See more »
When Marvin and Arthur are sitting by the inter-dimensional portals, Marvin mentions he is a "manically depressed robot." This not technically correct, as manic depression - aka bipolar disorder - is characterized by two extremes in behavior: sadness, lethargy, hopelessness, etc. (what Marvin displays); and mania - which is usually excessive activity (doing a lot of things at once) and sometimes happiness. Marvin did not really show mania. See more »
It's an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, Man had always assumed that he was the most intelligent species occupying the planet, instead of the *third* most intelligent. The second most intelligent creatures were of course dolphins who, curiously enough, had long known of the impending destruction of the planet earth. They had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger, but most of their communications ...
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After a couple of minutes of typical movie credits, there is a final, classic Guide entry. It refers to Arthur Dent carelessly speaking words about a towel, which ends up being interpreted by a pair of warring factions as a devastating insult. They then spend thousands of years coming to Earth bent on revenge, however "due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog". The Guide concludes with the reassuring nugget of wisdom, "this sort of thing is going on all the time". See more »
Overall a tremendous success. It's very funny, very kooky and visually gorgeous. I saw it with about 2000 media persons and we all loved it, which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish.
If you've never read the books (and I suggest you do, it moves at such a pace you might find yourself going 'eh?' a lot) then I don't know what you'd make of it. Think Monty Python in space, or a very British version of The Fifth Element.
As an adaptation I think it works extremely well though there were a few confusing moments even for me as the large philosophical questions were crammed into two hours worth of movie. The new stuff is cleverly done and works a treat IMO.
The cast: never been a fan of the office but Martin Freeman is perfect as Arthur Dent, Sam Rockwell hilariously OTT and Mos Def a surprising choice but one that really works. Trillian isn't that important in the novel and the movie bumps up her role to a love triangle situation between her Arthur and Zaphod. Again, Deschanel is an odd choice (another yank) but she is utterly spellbinding (oh the shower scene...hubba hubba).
The FX are great, both CGI and the Jim Henson creatures (the Vogons, brilliantly voiced by The League of Gentleman). The opening title song is worth the price of admission alone (think Eric Idle at his peak).
So I loved it, though the ending is also a bit of an anti-climax, but only perhaps because I was expecting something bigger. Still, it's p***-funny and that's the main thing.
Best moment: Ford attacks the Vogons with a towel and foils them by closing a tiny garden gate ("Oh no! We'll have to go around!").
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