With his quirky sense of humor combined with a unique take on life in outer space, Adams remains on our list of all-time favorite science fiction novelists. In honor of his memory, we’ve decided to take a look back at Hollywood’s best attempt to bring his best-selling book to the big screen: the 2005 adaptation of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Though it’s not a universally adored adaptation — though there’s something appropriate to that fact — we’d be lying if we said we didn’t appreciate the effort involved with “Hitchhiker.” After the jump, we’ll tell you everything we loved about that movie, from saving “The Hobbit” to making Alan Rickman cute and cuddly.
Let’s face it, your average American moviegoer isn’t going to know who Martin Freeman is from his involvement in the awesome BBC take on Sherlock Holmes or from his cute turn as a stand-in for sex scenes in “Love, Actually.” No, they know him best as Arthur Dent from “Hitchhiker’s Guide,” the first time he was really launched into the Hollywood scene. It’s an early look at what makes him so right to play Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit.”
Alan Rickman’s Voice
It’s no secret that we think Alan Rickman is a sexy beast. Fortunately, the folks behind “Hitchhiker’s Guide” learned how to channel that sexiness in just the right way: take his deep, droll voice and stick it into the body of a cute robot. What do you get? Alan Rickman in robot form! Yes, it is as great as it sounds.
The Entire Supporting Cast
Even looking beyond Freeman and Rickman, “Hitchhiker’s Guide” sports one of our most nerd-happy film casts ever. Rounding out the supporting players are Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel, Bill Nighy, Warwick Davis, John Malkovich, Stephen Fry and Kelly Macdonald. As if that wasn’t good enough, Helen Mirren plays the voice of Deep Thought.
The Added Material
Yes, it’s true that the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” movie differed pretty greatly from its source material (both novel and radio), but there are a few things that the film added to the story that we actually appreciate. To beef up the events from the book, the flick adds visits to Vogsphere and Viltvodle VI, which just means more crazy shenanigans for Arthur, Ford and Trillian to get into.
Fun Science Fiction
Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite films of the past decade — from “District 9” to “Sunshine” — have been some pretty dark sci-fi flicks, but it’s nice to have a movie that’s not afraid to take itself lightly. Like its source material, “Hitchhiker’s Guide” is light and fun while still maintaining the elements of science and fiction that got us interested in the first place. And for that, we only have Douglas Adams to thank.
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