OK, finally caught this on cable, even though the DVD has been sitting on my shelf for more than a year now. (At least SciFi ran it in HD, though it had commercials.)
I have to give this a miss. Some of the effects are really nice, and they do basically cover all of the important parts of the book. But the whole thing seems rushed, confused, and clumsy. Once again, that clumsy factor comes up in a movie... people bumping into each other and all talking at once is NOT funny.
They use the Vogons too much... and they look like something out of H.R. Puffinstuff. Or maybe those creepy puppets from the Phil Collins video.
In my oppinion, the book itself should be a big character in this movie. They do a few cut aways to graphic animation of the articles in The Hitchhiker's Guide, but not enough and not done nearly well enough. In fact, I'd say the old 80's graphics from the BBC show did a better job. These new graphics were more polished and sparkly, but not as neat or entertaining. Remember the whole graphic interpretation of the bloodiest battle in the galaxy (the perpertrators of which, due to an oversight in scale, were eventually swallowed by a dog)? There needed to be a lot more of that kind of stuff, but instead they rely on Zafod yelling at his 2nd head and showing the crew falling on the floor.
It's been a while since I read the book, but was there some sort of empathy gun (where if you shoot somebody, they know what the shooter is feeling)? I think that was completely manufactured for this movie... and if so I give a strong and rousing WTF ?!?!?
And WTF was Mos Deff doing in this movie? He added nothing. Ford is supposed to be the coolest dude hitchhiking across the galaxy, but he came accross as a bumbling baffoon... though even THAT didn't come accross very strongly.
It wasn't very long, so if you are a completist, and you just have to see it because you're a fan, then go for it. But it would never ever ever stand by itself, and was mostly a let down.
On the plus side, for fans, they did sneak a few references to Douglas Adams as well as some Monty Python references. Look for them if you decide to suffer through this film.