Thumbs down for a boring, inane ‘Hitchhiker’
Sometimes even critics — those who get paid to wax analytic about their film experience — find it difficult to explain why certain comedies make them laugh. No one would call “Napoleon Dynamite” or “Kung Pow!” “classic” comedy, and those of us who enjoy such random, plotless endeavors often find ourselves apologizing for our appreciation. So no doubt there are those who will enjoy “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” detractors be damned. It’s a safe bet that many of them were fans of the late author Douglas Adams, whose books inspired the movie. Adams’ ideas actually originated in a radio series, then became popular books which led in turn to a BBC television series.
It would be nice to say there is something to praise about “Hitchhiker,” but if you don’t get this film — and most of you won’t — no amount of coaxing will convert you. Even in a loopy, chaotic universe it’s still desirable to have a solid story, characters at once unique and believable, and some originality.
“Hitchhiker” feels like a movie inspired by George Lucas but without any worthy special effects and so little action that its randomness only inspires drowsiness.
The setup looks much funnier on paper than it winds up being onscreen. Brit Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) traverses the universe in a bathrobe after Earth is destroyed in order to build an intergalactic highway. Arthur pines for his doe-eyed sweetheart (Zooey Deschanel) who becomes his comrade, while bad aliens that look like descendants of Jabba the Hut and a silly Galaxy president (Sam Rockwell) stand in his way.
Even those who love British humor (a la Monty Python) will find the script tedious and unimaginative. We give props to any movie for not following a formula or for thinking “outside the box.” But “Hitchhiker” must be WAY out of the box. We won’t ask those who like this film to defend it, as long as they leave Napoleon and Pedro alone. It’s scary to think there are people out there who might like both films.
Rated PG for mild violence.