Monday, May 02, 2005

The movie is different, of course. There isn't that extended suspense, that sense of new discoveries each episode. In giving this a movie shape, the role of Ford Prefect (Mos Def in the movie) is diminished considerably. Alan Rickman is a terrific actor, so his voice for Marvin the paranoid android (more of depressed robot here) gets the requisite laughs, but I missed the machine-like gloomy moan of the TV voice. The creatures look much better, naturally (some done by Jim Henson, with whom Douglas Adams worked on a Muppets project that was never made) and the Vogons get off a Borg joke. I didn't care for the way they did the two heads of Zaphod, but it was certainly better than the goofy TV version. And the mice, I thought, came up short.

As for the other casting, I'm sure there will debate on the new Arthur (Martin Freeman) and the new Trillian (Zooey Deshanel), but they are very good in the roles as created for this movie. I loved Bill Nighy as Shartibarfast. Sam Rockwell plays galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox as a cross between G.W. Bush and Elvis, an interesting choice. The 60s origins of this character dated it even in the 1980s, and the hippie drug lord qualities surface here and there, but it must work, or I'd be able to get rid of the image of his insidious smile.

No comments: