The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

What better time, I figure, to see a lot of movies than when you’re supposed to be doing something else entirely? This weekend, for example, I was supposed to be putting all the non-essential bits of my life into boxes, so as to then move the boxes to storage spots, and therefore have less to take care of over the next few weeks. All of which I did, you see, but I also saw movies.

First, I got to the head of a line that only ended up forming a few minutes before start time, because of how I cleverly picked a movie that started before most people got off work, and thereby avoided the opening day mega-crowds. Which there may well not have been, though I hear it did the best of the weekend, a victory for sci-fi movies everywhere, says I. In particular, because it has a horror movie to contend with next week and so cannot possibly maintain first place two in a row.

The upshot of all this meaningless preface is that I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy unreasonably early in the release cycle to only now be reviewing it. Except, see, for the packing and loading and moving and unloading that I had to accomplish. Plus, there was tiredness. In any case, my bad.

I’m going to say, Good Movie. It didn’t quite nail the bureaucratic morass hilarity of the opening scenes, but it proceeded to lampoon it thoroughly throughout the rest of the movie, so that was pretty cool. It certainly welcomed the unfamiliar viewer with open arms, but had enough new jokes to provide more than just comfortableness for the initiated. The romantic subplot was expanded, which I didn’t mind on the face of it, but I also didn’t find that either lead could really pull it off.

Additional thing: Adams wrote in a new villain character. This did not bother me as much as it was supposed to as a loyal reader/viewer/listener/player/whatever, I think. Really, I liked it a lot, because it added another facet to the whole ‘each “book” should end with tremendous ease-of-use toward having a sequel’ thing that Adams has always had going for him. Which sequel I’d like to see, because when you get down to it, watching everyman Arthur Dent react to the galaxy in all its myriad insanity is fun. I do have a concern over the whole Douglas Adams died and will not have writing credits on future sequels aspect, though.

The problems: It was merely good. Probably this is true of the books as well, and I just don’t know by having avoided them lately. Certainly it’s not a problem for going to see it, because, well, things that are good are worth seeing. But it’s not good for longevity, either in the individual sense or as the basis for a series of movies. That said, lots of not-at-all-good movies have spawned sequels, so. And also, the opening and closing dolphin song was kinda terrible, in the made me want to claw out my eardrums if only that would end the pain sense. But I can avoid it on any future viewings. I will avoid it on any future viewings, unless I’ve been strapped down like a prisoner being forced to listen to Vogon poetry.

On a completely irrelevant note, I was not shown the expected Serenity trailer before the movie. How dare they?

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