I don’t post about movies very often. Honestly, I just don’t watch that many. In general, I prefer the vast story lines that can only be achieved in television and novels. However, I did find myself in the theater last weekend watching The Hobbit.
And how could I not? The Lord of the Rings remains one of my favorite set of novels and I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Jackson’s adaptations. Even if they weren’t always completely accurate to the novel, Jackson’s films captured the mood and tone of the novels perfectly. So seeing The Hobbit wasn’t just a no-brainer, it was a requirement.
Now, going in, I was leery. Not only had the film been getting a bit of negative press, I was concerned about the fact that Jackson had taken a 300 page novel and converted into not one, not two, but three movies. Logically, if each novel from The Lord of the Rings trilogy equals one movie, then The Hobbit should also be one movie, and shorter in length even!
Walking out of the theater however, I was generally pleased with the movie. Was it as good as The Lord of the Rings? No, definitely not, but it wasn’t bad either. What’s interesting (if not surprising) was that the weakest parts of the movie were those that the screen writers added in, the bits that they expanded upon with information from other histories written by Tolkien or made up entirely.
In particular, I did not care for the super-orc with a vendetta against Thorin (I can’t remember his name at the moment). It didn’t really make a lot of sense and it didn’t seem particularly necessary. I also wasn’t that fond of the “epicness.” The Hobbit isn’t supposed to be epic. The Hobbit is a story for kids, a lighthearted romp full of adventure and juvenile fun. The movie got a little too serious at times and it just felt a bit out of place with the original intent of the novel.
I will say, however, there were some things that I really did like that weren’t explicitly pulled from the novel like the back story that was told at the beginning of the movie. I loved seeing the dwarven city within the mountain. I’ve always had a hard time visualize what they might look like and I was really impressed with what the filmmakers came up with. I also liked how the framed the story as one that Bilbo was writing on the day of his 111th birthday, which tied it nicely with The Lord of the Rings and presented a nice opportunity for cameos. And I can’t help but mention that I profoundly enjoyed the scenes within the Misty Mountains, particularly the dwarves flight from the goblins.
Overall, The Hobbit was pretty good, but a bit too long. Perhaps 2 hours would have been enough and then maybe they would not have needed to add so much non-essential material. Either way, I love Tolkien’s world and I can’t complain too much about getting another glimpse inside. Without question, I’ll see the next in theater and probably own them all on blu-ray.