I had a great time seeing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on opening night yesterday. It looks to be the first successful film based on an e-book (okay, it’s a fictional e-book, but still) and there were visual and narrative elements of it that resonated with today’s digital culture and economy in a funny, uncanny way.
The movie wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot to like and a lot to laugh at. I so enjoyed myself that I became even more puzzled than I was before about the handfuls of invective that many reviewers of the film have been flinging at it, risking damage to their digital watches in the process. Let me try to gather some of these attacks into categories and figure out where they could have originated…
“Jesus Christ! Where is Tom Bombadil?!?”
From the camp that believes that there must be an injective mapping between the book and the movie, or that the movie is simply a lossless storage medium for the contents of the book, also allowed to have some pictures and stuff as long as Legolas’s footwear is appropriate. Such filmgoers, infected with an aesthetic sort of Protestant Fundamentalism, must find The Shining and Fight Club to be travesties for not disgorging everything in the original texts.