If this answers all your questions already, then you don't need to read on.
For everybody else, I saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday, and fortunately it was the English version.
So, what do I think of it? Well, it's been a while since my last exposure to HG2G in its various other incarnations, so I forgot a lot of the material funniness & whimsicality of it and simply judged it on its merits alone, without reference to the original : Quite nice - (suppressed yawn, but don't miss the credits!) - Next! But then, it hit me: Wait a sec, that cannot be it! After all, they're playing an expectations game based on the original's success, so the standalone performance just won't cut it.
And indeed, some further research proved the movie's non-existence in all parallel universes: They simply cut out most of the really funny stuff, especially the jokes. So that's what accounted for the suppressed yawn! I really like this review with its conclusion of vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad. About the only thing that was really good was Stephen Fry's voice with his Jeevesish accent - I wonder whether they dubbed it for the north-american market, where I presume even this highly watered down version earned blank faces mostly. Correspondent's observations, anyone?
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HHG2G had a unique evolutionary path, from radio programme, through TV show, book, towel and now a movie. It was nice to see Douglas Adams make an uncredited cameo from beyond the grave.
I enjoyed the movie because it reminded me of how great the source material is, and how much I loved the books when I was 14; but if I was an American teenager encountering it for the first time, I'd say it's pants. In fact, I think even the explanation for the towel was missing. I'll have to look at those sites you mention.
Yes, the movie is pretty bad. But that's all I expected.
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