Review: ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

Touchstone's long-in-the-making sci-fier adapted from Douglas Adam's cult radio skein/book series lands relatively safely on DVD. Aside from two commentaries, the extras are mostly harmless, but a big letdown considering the wealth of Adams-related material floating out there in space.

Touchstone’s long-in-the-making sci-fier adapted from Douglas Adam’s cult radio skein/book series lands relatively safely on DVD. Aside from two commentaries, the extras are mostly harmless, but a big letdown considering the wealth of Adams-related material floating out there in space.

The first of two audio commentaries is a lively group discussion with producer Nick Goldsmith, director Garth Jennings and cast members Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy. All in good fun, the foursome tease the absent Mos Def mercilessly. They joke that Def couldn’t hold his liquor in the pub scene, has an unintentionally amusing way of running and can’t lie down for more than 40 seconds without falling asleep.

In their commentary, exec producer Robbie Stamp and Adams’ pal and colleague Sean Solle mostly reminisce about Adams and reassure viewers that the scribe, who wrote a number of drafts of the script before his death in 2001, would have approved of the changes made to the storyline and characters.

However, the eight-minute “making-of” and three brief deleted scenes offer little insight into the pic’s 20-year journey to the screen. Even less interesting are two fake deleted scenes which must have been fun for the actors but are less so for auds. For the kids, there’s a “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” sing-along and a time-wasting game of hangman hosted by Marvin the paranoid android.

Here’s hoping a larger, more elaborate DVD edition is in the works.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Release: Sept. 13; Single disc; $29.99

Production

A Touchstone Home Entertainment release of the 2005 film.

Cast

With: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Bill Nighy.
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