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:: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

To those unseasoned with the ‘Hitchhikers’ universe this movie is quirky, charming and quintessentially British. For those who've heard of the 1970s radio show (or the books, or the comic, or the video game, or the TV-series) it's just a taste of this cult comic giant, but still manages to capture the essence that made it so popular.

The movie follows the surprising life of unadventurous British man, Arthur Dent. Arthur survives the destruction of the planet by hitchhiking onto a spacecraft with his best friend, who just happens to be an alien and a writer for a traveller’s handbook to the universe, The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy.

Joining forces with the president of the universe, a gloomy robot and the unrequited love of Arthur's life, they set off to find the meaning to it all - life, the universe and everything.

The film was viewed with a critical eye well before release and had a lot to live up to. This pressure to stay true to the original plot could be blamed for the fragmented pace of the film, rushed in its attempt to pack all the gags into a movie-length package. There are token inclusions of some famous ‘Hitchhikers’ jokes but no elaboration on them, leaving some classic comedy to a confused waste.

It does survive, however, with a strong cast, a very well-voiced narration, and the unfailing concept that life is ridiculous, even on a universal scale. Alan Rickman is cast masterfully as Marvin the gloomy robot, and Martin Freeman from ‘The Office’ fame (Another British comedy soon to undergo American reworking) is believably bemused as everyday-man Arthur Dent.

Expect loads of gags, visual and otherwise, and a generally silly time.