A half-formed Hitchhiker

Rented The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Monday night; it took me a while to figure out what was wrong with it. The problem with this movie is twofold. It captures the later, sadder, more morose Adams (think Mostly Harmless), rather than the free-form, Pythonesque silliness of the early Adams. An incoherent movie at best, it also ruined the jokes, as though they decided to save time by removing all the punchlines. Granted, it’s no great shakes to perform jokes a quarter-century old, but if you’re going to start the joke (e.g., have Arthur lie down in front of the bulldozer), at the very least finish it (i.e., have the foreman lie down in front of it for him — the absurdist punch line). If the jokes are old that you have to change them, at least replace them with new ones that are just as funny. (And make sure they’re funny, viz., if you’re going to feed Trillian to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, fans of the book will tell you that there can be only one way for her to get out of it. Unfortunately, the movie opted for something more mundane.) In the end, half-finished, half-performed and almost half-hearted. Catchy title song, though. (But why two sets of opening titles?)