Rating 4 out of 5.
I am a huge fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy just ask any of my friends. In fact one of them gave me a special golf towel with "42" on it. Yes I golf, but that is another story. Fans should note that the producers of the film made statements that this film was not going to be an adaptation of the book, but it was given the blessing from creator Douglas Adams, who worked closely with the filmmakers to get his vision of the series onto the big screen. Also any true Hitchhiker fan would know that the new incarnations from the series are always its own thing and never an accurate adaptation from the medium that has come before. I believe the disappointment of the film not being a close adaptation is what caused this great film to be panned by critics.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy follows the story of Arthur Dent who wakes up one day to find out that his home is going to be destroyed, as well as his home planet Earth. Dent is saved by his friend Ford Prefect, an alien who was stranded on Earth. Prefect is also an expert hitchhiker and contributor to the most successful book in the universe The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Together the two team up with the President of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on a quest for legendary planets and mythic items.
The acting is great but I must admit that Mos Def seemed a little out of place in certain times of the film. Perhaps he was trying too hard or not trying hard enough. John Malkovich and Sam Rockwell light up the screen with amazing performances. The voice talents of Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman were phenomenal and I cannot imagine any other voices in the roles that they immortalized in this film.
A brilliant aspect I loved with this film was the use of Jim Henson's Creature Shop for most of the aliens instead of using CG. Creature Shop did top work in giving the aliens a presence as well as the physics like weight and emotion to all the aliens. I must also mention that the guide it's self was perfect. The animations were very entertaining and added so much to the overall film.
Sadly with all the phrase there must be criticism; the film hit a few slow points towards the middle and end. While I understand that they were trying to incorporate elements from the other books to open the universe up, the overall experience falls short since the audience gets a bit lost with what the characters are trying to do.
Overall this film is a great family film that kids will get a kick out of because of the creativity and aliens. The parties involved have stated that they will not be doing a sequel, which is a shame since I feel that a sequel would be great to build off the new world of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.