Wednesday, February 02, 2005

DB Film Squad: Mos Def & Tim from The Office, Together at Last?

Yep, you read the header right. Word has it from those brilliantly prescient fellers down at Ain’t It Cool News that the rapper delight and Brit-com star will be paired up for the long-at-last film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ sci-fi comedy classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Don’t click the following link unless you’re:

a) A film geek
b) A Hitchhiker’s Guide geek
c) Played the text-based interactive Hitchhiker’s game on the Commodore 64 as a kid (okay, that might just be me)
d) Dying to know every last detail and rumor about the rough cut of the film

Okay, here it is… I know this is like saying, Whatever you do: don’t press that red button!

The best news as far as I’m concerned is the elevation of Martin Freeman – The Office’s lovelorn, practical joke-playing Tim (anybody remember what he said every time he buzzed the concealed weapon-come-cell phone of co-worker / a-hole supreme Garreth?) – as freaked out ex-Earthling Arthur Dent. I can’t help thinking that his pairing with cool-as-smooth Mos Def as Ford Prefect will be magic on screen.

Mos ends up being, to my mind, an inspired choice. He’s not playing it broad or obvious. It’s not an over the top “comedy” performance. He’s got a delivery and a rhythm all his own, and he gets more than his fair share of laughs. He makes a really nice foil for Freeman, who was always so good on THE OFFICE. You may recognize a little bit of his Tim in the way he plays Arthur, at least at first, but there are some really important distinctions. Arthur’s nowhere near as cool as Tim. He’s rarely in control of himself. Arthur is the eyes and ears of the audience, and as he learns things, we learn them. As a result, he stays deeply discombobulated through most of the film, and there is something magnificent about that big cartoon balloon head of Freeman’s. He plays frustrated beautifully, and those moments where it all finally gets to be too much are hilarious.

Add Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel, the voice of the multi-talented Stephen Fry (I’ll say it again: he’s one of my all-time favorite authors), the always fun Alan Rickman, John Malkovich, the Heart of Gold, a point-of-view gun, and the universe is the limit.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hits theaters on May 6th.

Just don’t forget your towel.


Daryl said...

I was dubious about the idea of bringing H2G2 to the big screen, but Mos Def - Martin Freeman is, like you said, a truly inspired pairing.

Eric Berlin said...

Welcome to Dumpster Bust, Daryl.

I think all HHGTTG fans are holding their breaths on this one. If the Ain't It Cool News people are anywhere near right, it looks as though it's going to be very special. This is an adaption that will demand a strong, eccentric, and unique vision, and it looks as though we're going to get treated to just that.

Will this film bump Serenity from my #1 to see list for '05? ..... Nah... couldn't happen, and I apologize for even bringing it up, my fellow browncoats!