The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Starring: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell Director: Garth Jennings The film: Douglas Adams' science-fiction comedy novel has long been ripe for the picking. The TV series - which aired in the early 1980s - hasn't aged well, so it was only a matter of time before Hollywood got its hands on things and tried to make them right. And try first-time director Garth Jennings does, coming some way towards making a good fist of things. But the fact that the novel was all over the place - jumping from action to excerpts from the guide and then back into the fray - means the film leaves you spinning. You get moments of magic. And a lot of dull bits in between. Martin Freeman takes up the role of Arthur Dent and plays him much as he did Tim in TV's The Office. But this low-key approach comes across as him being smugly impressed by the japes going on around him. And therein lies the chief problem: the film plays out as though all involved think it's a lot funnier than it is. Earth is destroyed and Dent, as the last man left alive, heads off into space with Ford Prefect (Mos Def) - an alien who knows the end is coming and decides to repay Dent for having saved his life. From here, Jennings throws the wild and wacky characters at us without much thought for establishing a thread for the narrative. The cheesy, 1970s-style special effects work well - and fans of the book will find some well-treated realisations of Adams' bizarre imagery. But you're never really sure where you're being taken. Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast and even Alan Rickman as Marvin the Paranoid Robot throw themselves into the piece with relish. But it remains a brilliant and complex story that was probably best left on the page. The extras: These are fantastic. Even if the film leaves you feeling flat, the atmosphere created by the novel is picked up in the extras and they're equal parts bizarre and brilliant. Pass the 'making of', some excellent commentaries and the deleted scenes for fun with ingenious 'fake' deleted scenes. Then there's a sing-along, a wicked Marvin Hangman Game (extra value for Rickman fans) and a great animated extra on whether God really does exist. The verdict: Superb packaging covers over cracks in the main feature.