I have read all six books of the Trilogy (HHGG; Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, The Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; Mostly Harmless; and Salmon of a Doubt). I have read the radio scripts. I have seen the BBC TV production. I have been a researcher for the official Guide since September 1999.
Before seeing the movie tonight, I had read Peter David’s review. I partially agree with him that there is no such thing as a purist when it comes to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Every version has its differences. There’s only a question of which version you prefer.
However, I’d like to make an exception to that — characterization. I’m not talking about new characters or missing characters. I’m talking about whether the characters respond and act the same to similar events. Whether they physically look ‘right’. I have no problem with a Black Ford Prefect. (For the record, I am using that term because I have no clue whatsoever what country the actor comes from, and it doesn’t matter to me, so I haven’t looked it up.) I’m not sure if Douglas Adams even specifies color in the books or radio play. I’m talking about Zaphod Beeblebrox.
I am not going to give anything away for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. But there are changes made to Zaphod’s character. The ‘revisualization’ of his physical characteristics I am fine with — and I think the f/x are cool. But the rationalizations they create, and what happens as the movie progresses I am not happy with, as a purist.
Alan Rickman as Marvin is great — but I dislike Marvin’s visual appearance.
I also don’t like how the movie is wrapped up so Hollywood style.
Now that I have gotten the dislikes out of the way, I had a lot of fun. I had warm smiles at all the lines I loved from the earlier sources. It’s hard to laugh when they are so familiar. I laughed at many of the added lines. An ‘ultimate weapon’ has been added to the script, and its several uses are progressively humorous.
I wasn’t sure at first, but I like the theme song that was written for the movie. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, is the title. And I am going to have to find an MP3 of it somewhere.
Rating (out of 5 stars) ***