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File:Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy movie.jpg


For two decades, a movie version of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy rotted in Development Hell. But in 2003, pre-production began, and in 2005, an all-out big-budget feature film rolled out to theaters.

The film's plot starts off following the story of the first book/radio series. However like every other adaptation of the material, it diverges sharply not too far in. This time, the divergence is far sharper than any before, but this was done intentionally by Adams himself (who thought of making Humma Kavula the Big Bad, the face-paddling scene, and the POV gun entirely on his own.) This film is also the farthest adaptation to date, even going so far as to have broad humor more akin to family films, and some American sensibilities, preventing a sequel based on Restaurant At The End Of The Universe to ever be produced.

Where the other versions go straight to Magrathea, the movie takes a side-trip to Viltvodle VI, where we meet the guy Zaphod beat to become President, and the quest for the mysterious "POV Ray" is engaged upon. Originally, Zaphod was trying to find the true ruler of the universe, but here he's just as shallow as he seems. There's also the home planet of the Vogons, the focus on Arthur and Trillian as a couple, the location of the ending and the way the good guys win...

For other versions of the story, see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Tropes used in The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy (film) include:

 Slartibartfast: Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I think that the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it," and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day.

Arthur: And are you?

Slartibartfast: (self deprecatingly) Ah, no. (snorts a giggle) Well, that's where it all falls down, of course.

  • Answer Cut: When Trillian asks who could've signed the order to destroy Earth.
  • Art Shift: The movie momentarily changes into knitted animation when the infinite improbability drive is in operation
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The Heart Of Gold.
  • Astronomic Zoom: The movie did an astronomic zoom out, shortly before the Earthshattering Kaboom. It does this with camera jumps with every "beat" of the music. All fifty-five.
  • Audible Sharpness: Ford's towel produces this when pulled out in the scene where they meet Marvin for the first time.
  • BBC Quarry: Vogsphere
  • Big Damn Heroes: Marvin has one of these in the movie, in which he wipes out an entire Vogon army with one shot from the P.O.V Gun, making them all depressed like him. And this was after he was shot in the back of the head with a laser gun.
    • Arthur tries to do this while rescuing Trillian from the Vogons, but he bursts into the wrong building.
  • The Cameo: One crowd scene features the original Marvin robot (from the television series) as an extra. Another scene features Simon Jones, the actor who played Arthur Dent in the original radio drama and TV versions of the series, as a pre-recorded Magrathean hologram. And the last image of the entire movie is Douglas Adams.
    • There's also Jason Schwartzman in a news report about Zaphod.
    • The old woman who is reading a newspaper at the cafe after the Vogon announcement is played by Douglas Adams' mother.
  • Canon Immigrant: Questular.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marvin, to the Nth degree.

 Marvin: (grumbling) "Give me a hand." Ha, ha, stupid human.

  • Deconstructor Fleet
  • Eagle Land: Mixed variety. Trish is American, whom Arthur adores, while Zaphod acts like a Jerkass American stereotype (not surprising considering he's played by Sam Rockwell). Ford, too, is a sympathetic American type of The Stoner variety. As the director commented, the only character who absolutely needed to remain British was Arthur.
  • Everything Is an iPod In The Future: The Starship Heart of Gold
  • Eye Lights Out: Played straight then inverted by Marvin.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The film actually has two title sequences. If you excised the entire dolphin musical number, there would be no loss, except for a damned catchy song.
  • Fly At the Camera Ending: The movie ends with The Heart of Gold flying at the camera and engaging its Infinite Improbability Drive.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: The DVD of the movie includes a sing-along version of the "So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish" song with a bouncing dolphin, naturally.
  • God-Created Canon Foreigner: Many of the differences from previous versions were Adams creations, from pre-death versions of the script, including the POV Ray, the flyswatters, Humma Kavula, and the romantic elements.
  • I Choose to Stay: Arthur is offered the opportunity to return to a recreation of his home on Earth, exactly (well, without the imminent demolition by Prosser) like he left it. He chooses to stay with Ford, Zaphod and Trillian and continue exploring the galaxy.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder

 Marvin: Freeze? I'm a robot, not a refrigerator.

  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Vogons. Lampshaded by Marvin.
  • In a World: The trailer was narrated by the titular Guide, as an entry in the Guide on movie trailers, spoken by Stephen Fry in a pleasant BBC-announcer voice, except for when he described the trailer as narrated by (cue Don LaFontaine impersonation himself) "a seven foot tall man who's been smoking cigarettes since childhood. *clears throat as he returns to normal* ." It consisted of one continuous Lampshade Hanging and parody of science fiction action movie tropes, and included a shot of a beautiful scantily clad woman and a series of explosions from entirely different movies. It can be found here.
    • Also includes the line "Often, this section is preceded by the words, 'In a world' ...[earth explodes] but sometimes not."
  • In Memoriam: "For Douglas."
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Ford closes a knee-high white picket gate on the Vogons, who moan they have to go the other way around, thanks to their being extremely Lawful Stupid.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Ford is played in an American accent by American actor Mos Def; his mentioning having come "not from Guildford after all" (albeit from the US, rather than a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse) takes on a slightly surreal edge presumably unintended by Adams. Later, Arthur mentions wondering about Ford's atypical accent.
  • Love Triangle: Arthur, Trillian, and Zaphod; this was a background element in other versions, but is pushed to the forefront here.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
  • Medium Shift Gag: In one scene, everything was animated in stop motion yarn.
  • Meganekko: Trillian.
  • Million-to-One Chance: The spaceship "Heart of Gold" has an Infinite Improbability Drive which causes Million-to-One Chance events to occur all the time. Not just Million to One, infinity to one, hence the name of the drive. Of course, which extremely improbable outcome you get...
  • Modesty Towel: Trillian is about to emerge from a shower when she asks Arthur for a towel, adding to the already well-established Most Versatile Object in the Universe gag.
  • Mythology Gag: using "Journey of the Sorcerer" (the original radio/TV Instrumental Theme Tune) in the film; casting Simon Jones (Arthur Dent from the TV series) as the voice — and face — of the Magrathean security system; Zaphod accidentally referring to Ford as "Ix"; the Vogons sitting on fawns and smashing crabs.
    • In the Flashback Cut of Arthur and Ford's first meeting, we see Ford stepping out into the street to "shake hands" with an oncoming car, having assumed that they're the dominant species on Earth. The car is a Ford Prefect, from which Ford got his name (a joke that was infamously Lost in Translation, as the Prefect was sold only in England).
      • There's a Hyper-intelligent shade of Blue present at in the first Deep Thought scene. Look to the Left of the gates when they're opened
    • When he finds his friends under fire on Viltvodle VI, Ford Prefect lets rip with "Belgium", widely regarded as the rudest word in the galaxy.
    • The teaser trailer features the song "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, which was used in the closing credits of the last episode of the radio broadcast and the TV series.
    • There is a restaurant at the end of the Universe - if you're feeling peckish. Make sure you travel in the right direction, though.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Subversion. One of the trailers is set up as the Guide's entry on movie trailers, detailing tricks such the inclusion of shots of violent explosions and scantily clad women which do not appear in the actual movie, implying the movie would be more clever.
  • Off with His Head: Happens surgically when Humma Kavula takes one of Zaphod Beeblebrox's heads as collateral before their trip to Magrathea.
  • Oh Crap: "Oh, bollocks!"
    • Questular when she sees Marvin aiming the P.O.V. gun in her direction.
  • Overly Long Gag: Right before the Earth is destroyed by the Vogon we get an Astronomic Zoom that goes from ground level to seeing the entire earth in a dramatic series of fifty-five jump-cuts.
  • Planet of Hats: The Vogons are a race of Obstructive Bureaucrats.
  • The Power of Love: Subverted:

 Lunkwill: Rubbish, we don't want to be happy, we want to be famous!

Fook: Yeah! What is all this "is she the one" tripe?

Lunkwill: Take his brain!


 Marvin: Oof. Beat) Now I have a headache. (collapses)

  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Lampshaded when the airlock door opens up from underneath them, instead of the opposing wall like it does with every other airlock scene like this.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: When Arthur, Zaphod, Ford, and Marvin rescue Trillian from Vogsphere, she slaps Zaphod (which is justified) then starts yelling at Arthur for not telling her about Earth's destruction because Zaphod threatened him. She tells him to get a backbone, for both that and not saving her on Humma Kavula's planet. Keep in mind that on that planet they'd been getting SHOT AT, and that even coming to Vogsphere to save her had been Arthur's idea. And not even one "Hi guys, thanks for saving me!" out of her.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In-universe, Arthur thought Zaphod's exclamations of "Humma Kavula!" were a strange curse word.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Done very cleverly after they use the Infinite Improbability Drive while they are all knit figures. Knit Arthur goes over to a trash can and lets loose a giant load of multicolored yarn. Once they go back to normal, you can see him pulling out more yarn.
  • What an Idiot!: Zaphod, in-universe. Just ask Humma's "Don't Vote For Stupid" campaign. Well, after all, the guy did sign the demolition orders for Earth thinking he was signing a fan autograph book.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Zaphod has his third hand and second head surgically removed as collateral before going on the search for the POV Gun, but he never goes to get them back. See Saved for the Sequel.
  • Where It All Began: The climax of the film takes place in Arthur's (reconstructed) home on Earth (2.0).
  • Wiper Start: On an escape pod for a space ship.
  • Women Are Wiser: Played jarringly straight - the Point of View Gun won't work on Trillian because she is "already a woman" and therefore naturally considerate.
    • Well, considering the gun was made by women to be used on men...
    • Alternately, that's just Trillian's assumption (It fits her personality) and the real reason that it doesn't work is because Zaphod's POV is entirely selfish, thus him wanting to be famous doesn't have any impact on her view.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Trillian wears a Grade C shorts variant in her first main scene.