For this month’s first review for Genre Grandeur – Road Trip Movies, here’s a review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) by SG of Rhyme and Reason
Thanks again to Simon of Moustache Movie News for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Michael Eddy and it is Hitchcockian Films.
Hitchcock films by the master himself and the best “Hitchcock films” not directed by Hitchcock.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of January by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Mike!
Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:
Perhaps between Pisces and Mars,
You come upon a giant thart,
You might ask if it’s dumb or smart
To stop and marvel at the sight
Of something of such appetite,
For tharts eat anything in view,
And if they’re hungry, you will do.
To tell if they are hungry, though,
Look underneath their little toe,
And if it’s glowing royal blue,
You’ll know they’ve eaten (lucky you).
But if instead, it’s brown or red,
You’ll very likely end up dead,
Wishing you had had the smarts
To not go checking toes of tharts.
MPAA rating: PG
I was struggling to come up with a road movie for this month’s Genre Grandeur, so I ended up thinking outside the box for an intergalactic road movie. Surely a movie about hitchhiking qualifies as a road movie, right? As someone who is not well-versed in Douglas Adams’ six-book/multiple-radio-series franchise known as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I can’t say whether the 2005 film adaptation is faithful to its origins, but I can say that it’s fitfully entertaining and a funny source for people to say “I knew Martin Freeman before he was a hobbit.”
My only other exposure to the series was reading the very beginning of the first book, and the film follows that chapter at least quite closely, as Arthur Dent (Freeman) goes from worrying about his endangered house to being whisked offworld by alien friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def), right before the planet is destroyed by a Vogon demolition fleet. Guided by the titular book of wryly comical encyclopedic knowledge, the befuddled Dent runs into an old flame now named Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), a two-headed runaway president (Sam Rockwell), a depressed robot (Warwick Davis, voiced by Alan Rickman), a planet manufacturer (Bill Nighy), and a pair of pan-dimensional rodent overlords.
Suffice to say, this is the weirder side of science fiction, but the constantly satirical tone ensures that nothing is to be taken seriously. The humor can be hit-and-miss, such as a sneeze-based denomination being a brief but distasteful jab at religion, but there’s also a good deal of amusement from the bizarre antics and the animations of random, meandering entries from the Guide. After all, it’s not every film that begins with an all-dolphin musical number. It’s the cleverly cynical, anything-is-possible kind of sci-fi humor that reminded me a little of the cartoon Rick and Morty, just cleaner and more British.
It’s not exactly the best work of anyone involved; for instance, I know Mos Def can be a good actor (see Something the Lord Made, also with Alan Rickman), but you wouldn’t know it from this movie. Plus, I can imagine a multitude of liberties were likely taken that might have displeased established fans. Even so, if you’re in the mood for a bit of sardonic, humorously intelligent absurdity, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a mostly fun trip for those willing to stick their thumbs in the air.
Best line: (the book) “What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”
Rank: List Runner-Up
© 2017 S.G. Liput
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