It should have been just another day in England for the easy going Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) but he is having a bad day. When he wakes up he does so to find bulldozers outside his home ready to flatten it for the planned bypass. Things get no better because as the morning goes on he learns that Ford Prefect (Mos Def), a close friend, is in fact an alien from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and that the destruction of his home is nothing as a group called Vogons are going to destroy the planet. With no home and no planet Arthur finds himself on an intergalactic space adventure as he accompanies Ford, Trillian (Zooey Deschanel) the last woman on Earth and Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) the President of the Galaxy, oh and also Marvin, a manically depressed Robot.
Despite being born back in 1972 I never got in to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" as a child and to be frank I don't remember there being many I was at school with who were into it even when in 1981 it leapt from being a radio show to a TV show. As such I can guarantee you one things, this review is not from someone who is a fan and is despondent by what they have done to a beloved story in turning it into a much anticipated movie. But at the same time it isn't a review from a fan who thinks Douglas Adams' original story is the best thing since slice bread.
Now that little old synopsis I dished out is really only the opening few scenes of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and there is a lot of random stuff which follows such as discovering the "Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" as well as various eccentric aliens and alien poetry. I think random is the wrong word as it is quirky and all over the place which as a by-stander is kind of fun but also kind of hit and miss as some of the humour makes you laugh whilst some humour probably will amuse those who cherish the book but falls flat for the uninitiated.
In truth to the uninitiated the whole of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is hit and miss with some special effects and choices of actors working whilst others don't quite do it. It maybe the case that the effect and the voice matches those of the original TV series or are perfect if you have read the book but as a casual observer some of it is a little too curious, in fact frickin' strange is a better word.
Don't get me wrong as it is not that I didn't enjoy "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and Martin Freeman is well cast as an ordinary guy on an extraordinary mission whilst Zooey Deschanel brings plenty of quirky to her role as Trillian. It is just when you don't know what is coming or where it is going it doesn't always hit the mark.
What this all boils down to is that "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is okay, it is often fun but also is often a bit flat. As I said it seems a movie which to really enjoy you already need to know the story and so is a movie for those who are fans of Douglas Adams' story.