When the movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cast Mos Def as Ford Perfect, the series' arguably coolest character, it was a gargantuan mistake, in a movie filled with gargantuan mistakes. In between Zaphod's missing second head and Earth getting put back into place with the same exact people who just got blown up, Mos Def was not the worst thing about the movie. That's probably because Mos Def doesn't actually give a bad performance.

To give a bad performance, you have to act. Mos Def's performance hinges on acting like a guy who just got onto a movie set for the first time and has no idea what to do. In fact if you took a random person, stuck him in a 50 million dollar movie and didn't give him any direction, you would end up with a duplicate of Mos Def's performance.

After seeing him ruin two movies, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Be Kind Rewind, (I'll admit they would have been ruined without him too), I have to wonder why he's being cast in movies. I get that he's a rapper, and when you're a Hollywood executive, sticking a rapper in your movie is how you appeal to "urban" audiences, if by urban you mean white suburban kids who like to hold their water guns slanted and wear hoodies. But why Mos Def?

Sure the average rapper, hip hop star, is not going to take home any Oscars. (Okay these days they've got a good shot.) But Ice Cube can play a part with some authority. So can most rappers who actually are playing a fictional role in their music careers anyway.

Mos Def just looks anxious and gives you the strong impression that he'd really like it if you didn't make eye contact with him and left him alone, before someone notices he has no clue what he's doing and gets fired. The first time I saw him go through an entire movie like this in Be Kind Rewind, I assumed it was his poor acting choice. Then I saw him do an even more awkward version of the same routine in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and it became apparent that it was what Mos Def does.

At this point one of two things should happen. Producers should stop putting Mos Def in movies or Mos Def could get a few acting lessons or two, so his performance doesn't look like it came from a guy who broke up away from a tour group and accidentally wound up making a movie.

Not that I think either one's going to happen.