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Ignoring canon

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy--the movie

Note: This is my version of a movie review, and, as a result, does contain the basic plot for both the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well as the movie version. If you intend to read the book without foreknowledge of anything in it, you'd better stop reading now.

So during the past three weeks I've fallen in love with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Adams had a truly lovely sense of humor, with witty plotlines, and a sort of delicious randomness which, written by someone else, would have merely come across as childish and unamusing.

I'm afraid that that is the impression I got when I viewed the movie based on his novels.

Oh, it followed the plot lines well enough, I suppose. Here's the basic premise: Arthur Dent is a normal English man, whose home planet is about to be destroyed by the lovely race known as the Vogons. Fortunately, his friend, Ford Prefect, happens to be an alien who knows how to hitch a ride and keep track of his towel at the same time. The two end up on a Vogon ship, where they are read some really awful poetry and then thrown out into space. Thanks to the Infinite Improbability Drive that this ship is equipped with, they get picked up one second before they would have died by a earth girl whom Arthur once knew, a woman who now goes by Trillian. She's the female companion to a certain Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy and general nutcase. Of course, Ford is actually semi-sortof-not really related to Zaphod, so Arther and Ford are free to stay on this ship, the Heart of Gold, which Zaphod has, as a matter of fact, just stolen. Zaphod wants to find a supposedly mythological planet where the supercomputer Deep Thought resides so that he may learn the Ultimate Question that goes with the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (the answer is 42--they've got that much, at least xD).

I'm not even gonna try to explain what ensues after this. Let's just say that it has to do with fjords, mice, and...er...dolphins? Really, if you haven't read the book, it wouldn't make any sense to you. And if you HAVE read the book, then you really don't need me to explain it, do you?

But anyway, back to my critique: while the movie includes all of the necessary plotpoints, it leaves out many scenes that I found the most enjoyable part of the book! First to mind is a scene where Marvin actually talks to a computer, causing it to "commit suicide". Yes, at the end of the movie, he destroys the Vogons' outlook on life by replacing it with his own--but it couldn't compare to the sheer greatness of the original scene. And it's not just the stuff that was left out that bothered me, it was the junk that they put in. Trillian/Arthur? Excuse me? Trillian wasn't a large part in the book, and Arthur and her certainly never had any real attraction going. Did you really need to do a shower scene? [insert rolling of eyes here]

And then, that brings me to the horror that is my dear, dear Zaphod.

If that was following the book, then I really, really missed something. Missed something to the extent that I was reading with my eyes closed. O_o

Since when where his heads attatched like...that? And since when was he an absolute moron? Admittedly, he was never the brightest character, but I think he had something going on up there. The outfit was kinda nice, but his whole manner caused me many winces. IMO, he should have been slick, charming in a sleezy way, and generally easy-going--not acting like a crack head.

Ford was alright, though I'm still puzzled as to why a black guy played him. Wasn't he a blonde in the novel? There's nothing racist in my comment, it just confused me.

There was too much randomness (and not the forementioned delicious randomness), and too little with the actual characters.

Please tell me I'm not totally losing it. Am I the only one who though that the movie didn't begin to do the novel justice?