Thumbs down for ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’
I was excited to take the lazy person’s ride into “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” cult by way of watching it unfold on the big screen. So I stuck my thumb out, hoping to catch the ultimate ride. But my thumb up turned into a thumb down.If the book enthralled you, you’ll probably have to see the movie, and maybe it will send you into outer orbits (no cheating with pre-movie hallucinogens) because you know the galaxy in a more intimate way than I do. But if, like me, you haven’t read the book and don’t watch the movie with a “Hitchhiker” maniac (or the aforementioned drugs), I can’t imagine you’ll enjoy the movie.I mean, don’t get me wrong: I dug the opening scenes with the dolphins; I laughed at their songs; I howled at the Vogons who “wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the ravenous bug-beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, lost, found again, subjected to public inquiry, and finally burned as firelight and buried in soft peat for three months”; and I chuckled at the depressed robot, Marvin, who is a “Genuine People Personalities” prototype.But the dolphins leave earth within minutes of the movie; the Vogons are slimy, fat, Jabba-the-Hut type bores; and Marvin gets out-of-this-world annoying.Sure, the Guide delivers philosophical gems along the way; it starts with humans leveling Arthur Dent’s (Martin Freeman) house to build an expressway, and soon we discover aliens plan to destroy Earth because it’s in the path of their planned expressway. The Point of View gun, which when fired at a man allows him to understand another’s perspective, offers a few minutes of entertainment, but on the whole, the movie runs out of ammunition.I wanted to read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” but after sitting through the painfully long ride in the theater, I can’t imagine thumbing through the book (though friends tell me it’s a must-read; what I must do first, though, is recover from the horrible impression the movie left).According to the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com), the film has been in “development hell” for more than 20 years, with producers and directors abandoning it. And indeed, it plays like an orphaned child, searching to pay homage to its father (in this case, author Douglas Adams) but never finding a satisfying completion.As Marvin, the depressed robot says, “This will all end in tears” – tears of boredom.
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Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or firstname.lastname@example.org