Garth Jennings - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), 2/10

Considering its source material, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comes close to labeling itself as a disgrace and at the very least is a sad bastardization of one of the greatest novels of the late twentieth century, even compromising some of the story’s most integral messages. The actual guide itself is presented well but every other stylistic or thematic choice is questionable when deviating from the original story. Some of this may be because of the inherent difficulty in bringing this story to the screen, but a story with so many laughs and emotionally effective moments bungled to this extent is simply poor. As a standalone film it is close to abysmal. Without Adams’ material it would be pointless and pathetically mundane. Sam Rockwell provides one of the worst performances of recent history, Zooey Deschanel is bland, Mos Def is a mixed bag, and Martin Freeman somehow flirts with tediousness despite serving as the story’s everyman to begin with. The film proves that the greatest scripts must be executed well in all stages in order to create a good visual experience, not just in writing. The humor is so woefully delivered that it sometimes crosses over into the realm of painfully uncomfortable. Part of this is due to the fact that Adams’ story is better explored with an intense focus on some of its passages, and this movie cannot delve deeply enough into its philosophies. This is really just an excuse, however, for laziness and ineptitude from these filmmakers. Stephen Fry’s narration is an individually worthy highlight; his reading of the novel is equally as worthwhile. Not quite “so bad it’s good”, so The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is simply very bad.