Thursday, December 20, 2012

Short Review Of "The Hobbit" Movie

I've always had a special soft spot for Tolkein's Hobbits. My father gave me The Hobbit to read when I was ten or eleven years old, and I happened to be sick that day. I liked the book so much that I pretended to be sick for the next two days so that I could finish the book. Unfortunately I had to get out of bed to go to the library to find "The Lord of the Rings", otherwise I might have had to be sick for the next month.

I purposely didn't read any of the reviews before going to see the movie, though I understand that they have been less than glowing. The most common of complaints appears to be Peter Jackson's decision to take a modest 300 page book and turn it into three movies. This makes it equivalent in length to Lord of the Rings - three books with a total of 1500+- pages. Famously C.S Lewis (of Narnia fame) when reading Lord of the Rings stated "Not another Fu***** Elf". Though this quote, isn't true, it does capture what one feels when watching the movie. In every single scene the merry band of dwarfs and Bilbo are running from something - Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and even Elves. In fact, in one scene, Jackson cuts from them being chased by Goblins (and miraculously fighting 30 to 1 odds) to being chased by Orcs (and miraculously fighting 30 to 1 odds).  Additionally every scene is either set to a sunset or to a sunrise, or has the main characters standing on a breathtaking outcrop of rock thousands of feet in the air above a huge chasm. We get it, New Zealand is the most stunning place on Earth, but Jackson is over doing it.

Despite it all, the movie is great entertainment. True to the book, the movie is much lighter in tone than Lord of the Rings. The movie is saturated with comic relief, especially with Bilbo himself who never fails to deliver a quick one liner. The special effects are breathtaking, and the 3D works well throughout the movie. Despite the faults mentioned above, "The Hobbit" is fantasy escapism at its best. If the next two movies are comparable, I'll forgive Jackson his decision to stretch the book into a trilogy.


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