Don’t Pick Up This Hitch Hiker

I went with a group of friends to see The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy last night. I wasn’t looking forward to it. The trailer looked appalling and, really, there is nothing worse than badly done sci-fi. The tickets were only R10 though, so we gave it a chance.

I would rather have paid to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again.

I have never read Douglas Adams’s book/s so for comparative purposes I still need to watch the old BBC series, or listen to the book-on-tape that Firebird Paul over the UK so generously sent to me.

But, to my understanding, much like Thunderbirds, the movie Guide to The Galaxy is once again proof that the English should stay away from sci fi. Or, rather, Americans should not get involved in the film versions of English sci fi. This one is much a misinterpreted turkey as the Dungeons and Dragons film was.

Apart from an utterly bullshit story (largely involving John Malkovich taking the idiot galactic president’s 2nd head hostage for a persuasion gun(?!!)), the characters are under-developed, frequently annoying, and weakly played. Bill Nye and the voices of Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren are a pleasant diversion, but their screen time is limited.

To be fair, the film does have some positives. The special effects are superb, as is the character design and make-up, and there are some funny moments. These include the self-aware whale and the ‘cheerful’ spacecraft.

The film’s big problem, though, is that it tries too hard to be quirky, and is surprisingly childish – there is no innuendo to liven things up for older viewers.


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