- Posted December 16, 2012 by
Oak Park, Illinois
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'The Hobbit' is here!
A Slightly Flawed but Enjoyable Journey
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
I attended a midnight screening of The Hobbit in full costume so my passion for the movie was evident. Overall, I liked the film but did not love it as I expected to. (SPOILER WARNING if you haven't seen it yet.)
The chief flaw of Peter Jackson's version (in my opinion) is the decision to split The Hobbit into a trilogy. This has resulted in some pacing issues and some questionable new additions. The end result feels, as Bilbo (and many reviewers) said, "like butter scraped over too much bread."
On the plus side, Martin Freeman is an absolutely perfect Bilbo. He has such understated charm and a flustered, very hobbitish quality. I can't imagine anyone else in the part. Richard Armitage is incredible as Thorin. A truly commanding and kingly presence. Andy Serkis once again does an amazing job as Gollum, blending menace, humor, and sympathy. The rest of the cast is also very strong. It was fun to see old friends and meet new ones.
Most of the scenes adapted from the book are fantastic. The Dwarves at Bag End and the "Riddles in the Dark" sequence stand out as my favorites. The Dwarvish feast and the somber "Misty Mountains" song were pitch perfect. The designs for the goblins, trolls, and wargs are wonderful and the landscape of New Zealand is as beautiful as ever.
The new material added to the story is a bit hit or miss however. I liked the inclusion of the White Council (the important wizards and elf-lords) and the dark doings at Dol Guldur (Sauron's fortress). These tie the story more closely to Lord of the Rings without seeming intrusive. I was not as crazy about the wizard Radagast. Sylvester McCoy does a great job playing him but his scenes feel unnecessary and tacked on. His rabbit sled is also pretty ridiculous. I would have saved this character for later in the films or folded him into the White Council scene.
Bringing in Azog as the movie's villain was odd to me as well. While it makes Thorin's vendetta with the orcs more personal, there is already a character in the book who fills this role (Azog's son Bolg). Why do we need two prominent orc villains? Bringing back Azog from the dead contradicts the book and feels redundant.
Overall, the movie is very good but I feel the pacing would have been better if some of the filler and new material was cut. I also still disagree with doing a trilogy. Other than these issues, The Hobbit is a very enjoyable film.