We’re going to see Hitchhikers tonight, as I’m sure a few of you will be doing this weekend. I’m genuinely concerned about its quality. Most book-to-movie conversions are tremendously inaccurate and pathetic attempts to condense 400+ pages of ideas and words into a 50page, 2 hour screenplay. This excludes mediocre genres like romance and romantic comedy. Somehow those movies, being as melodramatic as their book bound counter parts, manage to escape the “it was nothing like the book” movie review over post-cinema coffee. Action movies, SciFi, Drama and historical pieces are shot to bits in order to either make things more exciting for the illiterate movie going audience or are simply “edited to run in the time allowed”. Has anyone read Jurrasic Park? Does anyone who has think the movie is anything like it? Anyone else incredibly disappointed that they completely ruined it?
So, my concern isn’t unfounded. There’s a very good chance that they’ve ruined Douglas Adams’ brilliance completely. Most of the reviews I’ve seen fall into two categories. A) People who have read the books, seen the movie and loved every single moment of it or B) People who just don’t get what all the fuss was about and would like to go watch Million Dollar Baby again. It hangs, at the moment, at about a 55% tomato meter rating. The movie is either brilliant or confusing by most accounts. Everyone who didn’t like it talks about its jumpy story, dry dialog and jokes that no one seemed to get. They call it slap-stick and “zanny” and are generally unhappy people. Everyone who loved it went in wearing their “42” t-shirt, clutching copies of the Guide like it was the bible.
The only thing everyone seems to agree about is the changed ending. I haven’t seen it obviously, but my suspicion tells me that arthur gets the girl and they head off into the sunset for more wild and crazy adventures. That of course, is a complete guess. But I can see Hollywood doing that.
All I know is that the humor is damn funny, I’ve loved it for years. The casting for the movie is great (with the exception of Mos Def in the part of Ford), the trailer is the first trailer in years to actually make me laugh and best of all, Peter Jones, the voice from the BBC radio series, does the narrating. Thats money right there.
So, the 7:30 showing is my next stop. Fingers crossed.