The Hitchhiker's Guide: not earth-shattering.

Reviews of the latest films.
April 28 2005 4:23 PM

Don't Panic

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is smart, if not earth-shattering, fun.

(Continued from Page 1)

Speaking of just one joke, casting the wearily epicene Alan Rickman as the voice of the depressive robot Marvin (embodied by Warwick Davis with a huge, round, featureless silver head) must have seemed a slam-dunk. But that joke gets old more quickly than Rockwell's. When his lines fall flat, it's not bad, exactly—just, like Marvin, kind of sad.

Hitchhiker's is running out of fuel when Bill Nighy putters onto the screen like a modest Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Slartibartfast, he designs worlds instead of knocking them down, and he's the airiest Creator imaginable, with eyes at once enchanted and world-weary, and with that snorty little laugh (a Nighy trademark) for punctuation. Nighy's rueful grace makes him—not Arthur—the ideal mascot for this movie. When he says his favorite thing is designing "the fiddly bits" around fjords, the illogic of the universe seems blessed, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is actually transporting.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.