Bad News for Hitchhiker Fans

I got to read my first review of the new movie version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy today. After my initial worries, I had been more hopeful having seen the later trailer. However, having read MJ Simpsons review my worst fears about the film have been realised. To quote from the review:

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is bad. Really bad. You just won’t believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular – but that’s just peanuts to the Hitchhiker’s movie. Listen.

And so on…

It’s bad on a big scale because enormous swathes of the story have been dispensed with – most of the Guide entries, whole scenes – or changed beyond all recognition. And it is bad on a small scale because many, many wonderful lines have been cut or in some cases actually rewritten to make them less funny. Whatever your favourite line from Hitchhiker’s, there’s a good chance that it won’t be in the film. Even if it’s really well-known, widely-quoted, much-loved, very funny – it will probably be absent from the movie. Or if it is there, it might have been changed.”

In addition there is a much more detailed review that goes through the entire plot of the film pointing out where changes have been made, lines have been cut, and so on.

Having read the long review, it seems to me that what has happened is a usual dumbing down for a US audience. As a result, a lot of the jokes and wordplay have been cut out. On top of that the plot itself is even more confused thanks to changes made to the original plot, in some cases changing fundamental elements of the original.

It remains to be seen whether I’ll actually go and see the film now, although I guess with my expectations suitably lowered I might find something to enjoy.

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