The Hobbit: An Unexpected Trilogy

The Hobbit is made for the fans.  If you absolutely love the Tolkien book, you will love Peter Jackson’s adaptation.  For fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this is basically more of the same.  Why and how they turned The Hobbit into a trilogy of films is a bit of a mystery to me and watching the first installment didn’t provide any further insight.  If you are anything less than obsessive about Tolkien, you will be likely to find this a meandering and self-satisfied affair, although not without a few positives.

We hear so many stories about films being cut and edited horribly, and the popularity of “Director’s Cut” editions is testament to this.  There is something particularly tragic about a director being forced to trim and distort his or her artistic vision.  It is rare that you see a film and think, Christ, if only the studio had reined this in and cut the film down.  The Hobbit is sadly just such a film, as almost every scene could have been improved by judicious editing.  Even where it’s clear a lot of money has been spent on special effects (which I think is probably every single scene) it often feels it’s a waste and the scene detracts from the story.  It’s begging for a fan edit, because there’s a great film in there if you just streamlined the action.

I think it comes down to Jackson wanting to be true to the book (and the whole Middle Earth mythology).  He obviously has a deep affection for the source material such that he can’t bear to be unfaithful or to leave things out.

So, yeah, too long and drawn out.  However, the casting is good, it’s well-crafted; although there is heavy use of CGI, it is some of the best I have yet seen.  Some of the action is very enjoyable, almost mesmerising.  Attention to detail is ridiculous and even the shortest, most pointless scenes are rich visually.  It looks good in 3D, although three hours gave me a headache.  I think they amped up the brightness of the print just so that it would look better in 3D, but I could be wrong.  Overall, I thought it was okay.  A bit of a chore to watch, but okay.  It made me want to play Skyrim again.

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2 Responses to “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Trilogy”

  1. Agreed it was too long – which is a pity because I loved the book. There were just too many moments where I caught myself thinking about something else.

  2. Too long, far too long.

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