I've not seen such an enjoyable and flawlessly funny film as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in quite a long time.  Even though I had never read the books by Douglas Adams, it was instantly an exciting and accessible comedy adventure that I'm eager to see a second time.

The brilliant script and perfect casting make for a purely enjoyable filmgoing experience that is rarely equaled.  Instead of getting your hopes dashed yet again by this summer's impending Lucasfilm fiasco, I heartily recommend giving Hitchhiker your hard earned cash at the theater.

Martin Freeman (who you may remember as Tim from the BBCTV original good version of "The Office") plays the reluctant hero Arthur Dent, who is swept away into an absurd adventure after Earth is destroyed in the opening minutes of the film.  Clad only in his pajamas, bathrobe, and his ever important towel, Dent hooks up with a gallery of interesting folks on a quest to find the most important question in the universe (as the answer to life, the universe, and everything has already been determined).

Freeman's understated and frustrated performance perfectly compliments his fellow cast members.  The folks behind this film could not have done a better job choosing the actors for this film if they tried.  Mos Def is brilliant as Ford Prefect, the voice of reason who helps Dent sort things out while he's thrust into an insane new world.  I've enjoyed his music, and have thought some of his past acting works was fine, but his physical humor and low key delivery work well here.

Of course, they have to be low key because Sam Rockwell just tears up the screen every moment he's visible as the flamboyant President of The Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox.  With his 70s rock star good looks, Ric Flair personality, and Three Stooges IQ, he's a non-stop riot to watch.  He's easily become one of the funniest movie characters of all time, and with such an amazing natural grace, it's hard to believe.  Lesser men, like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, have tried to pull off over the top annoying characters and have failed miserably.  In the hands of Rockwell, Beeblebrox is the perfect obnoxious work of art.

Throw in Alan Rickman to provide the voice of Marvin, the manic depressive robot, and you've got the ingredients for an instant classic movie that really delivers the laughs. 

Also hats off to the filmmakers for making a film that's hilarious for adults, but with no material inappropriate for the kids, either.  Aside from some beer drinking at the start of the movie, I can't single out anything that would truly make this a PG rated film. 

If you want films with intelligent writing, high quality acting, and guaranteed laughs, buying a ticket to see this movie is the best message you can send to Hollywood.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy deserves a seat at the same table as Monty Python's Quest For The Holy Grail, as one of the all time great adventure comedies.

-Robert Berry



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