I think I first read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I was about 13, and it blew me away. Of course it did - it's an absolute classic. By the time I read it, it had already been out as a book for 8 years and had also been on the radio and on the telly.
Of course, the film was famously stuck in pre-production hell for nigh on 25 years, and Douglas Adams sadly died before he was able to see his baby finally arrive on the big screen...
Was it worth the wait? Geeks have of course been endlessly picking over the details: is Marvin's head too big? What do you make of the addition of Humma Kavula? and so on, and so forth. In the main though, the film has been really well received, and so I went to see it tonight.
And what did I think?
Well. Perhaps it was the late night I had last night. Perhaps it was the bottle of Grolsch that I drank in the cinema. Perhaps it's my over-familiarity with the material. Perhaps it's because the joke is 25 years old, and nothing dates like science fiction.... whatever it was, I thought it was boring. Sorry, but I did.
I don't think anything is particularly wrong either - Martin Freeman is an excellent Arthur Dent, Mos Def is pretty good as Ford, Sam Rockwell is suitably annoying as Zaphod, Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman are well cast as the voices of the Guide and Marvin respectively..... it's just all been done before (arguably better) in the radio serialisation and in the TV version, and the film version inevitably adds little that is new. Galaxy Quest is a better film for starters.
I know Douglas Adams was a thoroughly bloody nice chap, and it was a damn shame that he died so young.... I know the books have a special place in a lot of people's hearts and that they desperately want to like the film.... but I didn't. I think I fell asleep in some bits, and I left the cinema feeling very disappointed.
Sequels are inevitable, but I don't think I'll be bothering.
I keep feeling like I should apologise.
* post title brought to you courtesy of Statue John as his prize for winning the poster competition the other day. Well done sir!
The slow walk home
3 days ago