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Don't panic! After twenty years stuck in development (a mere blink compared to how long it takes to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has finally been turned into a movie. Following the radio play, TV series, commemorative towel, and books, this latest installment in the sci-fi-comedy franchise is based on the screenplay and detailed notes by Douglas Adams.


Hitching a ride.

For those unfamiliar with the story, everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) wakes up one morning to discover that his house is set to be demolished to make room for a bypass. Little does he know the entire planet Earth is also set to be destroyed for an interplanetary bypass by the Vogons, a hideous and bureaucratic race of aliens realized in the film by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Whisked off the planet by his best friend, alien-in-disguise Ford Prefect (Mos Def), Dent embarks on a goofy jaunt across the galaxy accompanied by his trusty Hitchhiker's Guide, which looks like a really fancy PDA.

The guide itself provides some of the funniest bits of the movie, little animated shorts that explain the ludicrous life forms and extraterrestrial phenomena our heroes encounter. Along the way Arthur meets the two-headed party animal/president of the galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and develops an unrequited crush on fellow earthling Trillian (Zooey Deschanel). The creatures and sets are inspired and answer to the sci-fi fan's primal need to see lots and lots of cool stuff. In particular, there's John Malkovich's creepy, CGI-enhanced Humma Kavula. He's a guru leading a religion that worships the gigantic nose that allegedly sneezed the universe into existence (naturally all their prayers end not with "Amen" but with "Bless you.") The aliens the team encounters are inspired creations, eminently worthy of action figure-ification, and the sets belie an attention to detail worthy of freeze-framing. Fans of the other Hitchhiker manifestations, namely the British TV series, will be amused by a number of in-jokes sprinkled throughout the movie.


Concept art: The Heart of Gold pod on the planet Vogsphere

Where the story stumbles is in the telling--as books, the Hitchhiker's Guide was foremost about goofy and brilliant ideas that raised questions about our place in the universe while getting a laugh. The cast seems at times bewildered, at least when Sam Rockwell isn't picking pieces of scenery out of his teeth, perhaps a natural reaction to an adaptation of a book with no traditional plot. The movie has enough trouble figuring out how to get the characters from one fantastical location to the next that Adams's funniest concepts often feel left in the dust. While the reverence the filmmakers felt toward Adams's legacy is apparent, one wonders what we could have expected had the creator of this science fiction universe lived to see it with his own eyes. -- Ryan Boudinot

A Guide to the Guide
The Soundtrack

The Radio Play (CD)

The TV Series

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Deluxe Edition)

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Paperback)

The Filming of the Douglas Adams Classic (book)

Interviews with The Cast and Director
Watch our interviews with the cast and director of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and find out what they think of other DVDs and books:
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Quick Tip by . August 10, 2010
Rather different from the books, but has some excellent new bits. Adams was very into having several conflicting versions of the story and worked on the screenplay before his death. Well worth watching, as long as you don't panic about the inconsistencies.
review by . September 04, 2008
If you haven't read the book   Skip this movie, do not look   You'll scratch your head, and then you'll yawn   Without a clue what's going on     And even if you've read the tale   The movie version's pretty stale   Half way through it'll be your wish   To leave, and thank them for the fish     Like Vogon poetry it's so boring   It'll have the entire audience snoring   How many'll …
review by . March 17, 2009
I love the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. I love the radio series. I love the unabridged audiobooks. So I was very, very excited to hear that there would be a big-budget film adaptation at long last.    It was the most disappointing experience of my life.    I hardly laughed once during this fiasco. It simply fell flat on every note. I know, I know, I'm too demanding; fans always are. But this wasn't just mediocre. It was dreadful. Painful!    If …
review by . August 20, 2008
I watched this crap a few years ago and I gotta say its one of the worst comedies of all time.  It was full of lame scenes that tried to be funny but instead got you asking yourself "was that lame scene supposed to funny?"  Anyways I'm glad I watched it online and didn't pay for it cause I would've been pissed if I wasted money on this crap.  Hell, I want my 2 hrs back for watching this poor excuse of a movie.
review by . April 01, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
I must let people know first that I knew absolutely nothing about this stories past or history so this was the first time I heard of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but no disrespect I'm just a little young. The film is a bit long but as a newcomer to this story it's very hard for you to get bored of it because it has so much imagination. It's a movie that will definitely make you use your brain but it's something that isn't for everybody. I like that it was not the same old movie you always …
review by . December 07, 2005
Although many people who grew up either reading the books, watching the TV series or both will probably be upset with this film adaption, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this work. Although I've never read any of the books, I did watch the series on PBS when I was growing up.     With that in mind, this film was very pleasing to me. Sure, it's slow in bits and doesn't make sense most of the time, but neither did the TV series. In fact, "Hitchhiker's" was never really meant …
review by . November 16, 2005
First of all, I am a total devotee of the Hitchiker novels in particular and all things Douglas Adams in general. I was crushed by his premature death because one of the truly original thinkers and commentators on the inherent bizarreness of the universe was gone. I had very deep reservations about whether the novels could be brought to the screen by Adams -- let along anyone else. However, Adams had apparently completed substantial parts of the screenplay at the time of his death. As astute as …
review by . September 02, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
After seeing the previews for THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and listening to several friends discuss the books and the movie, I knew I wanted to see the film for myself. Before doing so, I also made sure I read the book, knowing ahead of time that each adaptation of the witty, semi-story has been different. Then I proceeded to the cinema to see what would be in store.    I was rather impressed. There are several things done in the feature film that have no connection to …
review by . April 28, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Good Premise     Cons: Lousy FX, zero chemistry, lousy pacing, and stale jokes.     The Bottom Line: A total disaster.     Making films from books has always been a tricky proposition. For every film adaptation that hits it big such as “Jaws” “Lord of the Rings” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, there are several that fail to work or are downright disasters such as “The Bonfire of the Vanities”.   …
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