Saw the new The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie.
I was expecting it to be just okay, and was a bit disappointed. I think any Douglas Adams fan is going to be perplexed at how much great stuff was left out and how much limp new material was added. The opening sequence is great, and the first act is fine, though the comic timing is a bit off and it’s a bit hard to follow. The entire second act is an interminable and unfunny “rescue Trillian from the Vogons” sequence that has no basis in the book. The third act gets back to the book, more or less, and is adequate.
As for the characters, I really didn’t like their Zaphod — he’s supposed to be acidly condescending and monstrously self-absorbed, but he just comes across as goofy and stoned. Ford also seems just too kooky; it’s hard to imagine him and Arthur being close friends. Arthur was pretty good, and I liked Trillian, though I think that’s more because they cast an interestingly quirky actress than because of anything in the script. Marvin is criminally underdeveloped. The one area in which the film exceeded my expectations was special effects — some of the them, such as the Slartibartfast flyby, are truly stunning.
I was really annoyed by the ending, where Marvin says, “The restaurant is at the other end of the universe,” and the ship does a 180. The Restaurant at the “End” of the Universe is at the conclusion of the universe, not at the edge of the universe.