I hate book-to-film adaptations.
I really do. The problem is that adapting a book to film implies that certain things will get cut due to time constraints, the general inability to illustrate a concept visually, etc. When they do stick to the book (like the first two Harry Potter movies), I love it but the critics hate it. When they deviate from the book (like the third Harry Potter movie), I hate it but the critics love it.
I always hope they’ll stick to the book because the whole reason I want to see the film adaptation is to see the story I know and love brought to life on the screen. One of my favorite stories ever is The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and I was more than excited to see that it was going to get its time on the big screen (not counting the previous time, which, admittedly, I haven’t seen).
I mean, seriously. Ugh.
There was stuff that happened in the movie that never happened in the book.
There was stuff that happened in the movie that happened in other books in the series.
The worst bit is that I’ve read the books and I got lost. Jenn hasn’t read the books and was more lost than me.
I think they were trying to get somewhere they shouldn’t have tried to go. They tried to get “creative” with it or something. They tried to somehow change or improve upon the story and it didn’t work.
I liked Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent. Mos Def as Ford Prefect was… well, he wasn’t what I pictured when I read the books, but I bought it. Zooey Deschanel was a great Trillian. Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast was perfect (and has my vote for most accurately represented character in the movie).
On the other hand, Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox left something to be desired. He felt too… flashy… and not enough “used car salesman.” The rendition of Marvin the Paranoid Android was not remotely how I had pictured Marvin in the books. And the spaceship Heart Of Gold had pretty much no bearing on anything I had imagined.
The Vogons, who are an interesting set of characters, were not major players in the books. I mean, they were there, but they didn’t show up every 10 seconds. In the movie, the Vogons filled in the “villain” role and were on screen almost more than the humans.
I won’t even get into the fact that the dolphins played like NO role in the first book but somehow made it to the opening credits of the movie.
I really hope they don’t try this again. I won’t even be picking this up on DVD, it was so bad. Sorry, Hollywood, you really lost me here. Now I’m going to have a hell of a time convincing Jenn to read the books.