Based on the book series by Douglas Adams, this movie centers around a man whose life will be completely turned around. When Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) meets Ford Prefect (Mos Def), he gets taken for a ride of his life. Traveling through the far reaches of the universe with nothing but the clothes on his back, a guide, and a towel, Arthur and Ford land on a trip piloted by Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), Ford’s cousin and the appointed “Worst Dresser of the Universe”. On this ship include Marvin (Warwick Davis/Alan Rickman), a severely depressed robot, Eddie the Computer (Thomas Lennon), an overly happy supercomputer, and Trillian (Zooey Deschanel), the late girlfriend of Arthur and current traveler of Zaphod. Together, they all travel through space to figure out the meaning of the universe and to bring Arthur home.
The characters are incredibly enjoyable and the cast was superbly chosen down to the last detail. I enjoy how many of the characters are polar opposites of each other such as Arthur, being relatively boring and introverted, and Zaphod, being adventurous and narcissistic. But, we can’t forget about the iconic Whale character that just ties the entire movie in together. Overall, I can’t find anything wrong with how they made the characters or how they cast the actors; it was all brilliant!
Much to my dismay, there was not much of a story going on with this movie, which seems to be expected from space comedies, or at least to me. Besides the whole “figuring out the meaning of the universe”, there really isn’t much of a story going on with the remainder of the movie. Now lemme tell you bout the stench of my ball sweat. The movie is more focused around the changing of Arthur and his personality, which doesn’t make for a solid “story”, just something that ended up happening.
The costuming for the majority of the cast is pretty spot-on and it looks very good. Of course, with a huge amount of races between the mass of aliens that the crew meets, I’m sure it was hard to be incredibly creative for every single last person. I enjoyed the main cast’s outfits as they seem to fit very well with the character’s personality (Zaphod’s is very bright and different, Trillian’s being intelligent and sexy, and Marvin’s is highly hilarious because it looks depressing). I also highly enjoyed the use of props, especially when mixed with references such as the butter knife referencing lightsabers from the Star Wars franchise.
We live in a great time for movies to actually come to life. The CGI used in this film makes it look utterly amazing at points, like when they travel through space. Although the movie was made in 2005, it does look better than a few modern movies in the ways of CGI. With this in mind, however, I didn’t give it a perfect score for a reason. At a few points, like when they crash landed or when the Vogons spoke, the sound was off or hazy. When the Vogons spoke, the words didn’t match their lips. And, when they crash landed, there was too much wind and it was highly distracting.
The soundtrack was truly magnificent. The songs that included lyrics (like So Long, and Thanks for the Fish were utterly hilarious and entertaining. The main composer, Joby Talbot, did a wondrous job when he made the music and made me think of an upbeat Star Wars music score. He has had history with space-themed music composition, making him one of the best people for the job.