Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
So, I know it's late but I'm poor. Anyway, I finally saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and as a highly-qualified nerd, I figured I'd give my thoughts on the flick. I guess we'll see if this ends up review-ey or rant-ey as it goes on. Firstly, I should say I'm a big Tolkien fan. Not just Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but also works like Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Silmarillion. But I'm definitely not a "books shouldn't be movies derpdederp!" type. I actually got into Tolkien's work through Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings trilogy.I actually love the idea of epic movies based on these books if they're well done and appropriate.
Appropriateness brings me to the first thing about this movies, the first thing I thought even the first time I heard about it. It's taking a book that, upon my last read-through. took me about three hours, and stretching it into three films of approximately that same length. The story is bound to either be the slowest, most drawn out creation imaginable (perhaps omitting the original Dune movie), or shoehorn in so much unrelated plot in order to extend it, that there are times that it feels nothing like the original product. To be honest, The Hobbit has a little of both. Things like the beginning where the dwarves keep showing up and hang out at Bilbo's house is a tad too long (though I'll admit it's well done and accurate for the most part), as is the also forced arguent between Gandalf and Saruman. Not to mention the totally pointless addition of The Brown Wizard, Radagast and his... I can't even say it without grimacing... Rabbit Sled. All part of a desperate ploy to hammer the familiar Sauron from the Rings trilogy into The Hobbit, both to pad time and to pander to those only following the movies. Also, what's with the ballsack-chin goblin? Men in Black did that over a decade ago, but they admitted it.
It's not all bad though. There are some things Peter Jackson pulls off tremendously. The entire Gollum portion is done perfectly, from the dialogue, to the vocal inflections, the set pieces, and how it slowly builds to an exciting and magnificently done crescendo. I also rather enjoyed the troll scene, aside from one of Peter's nephews apparently getting a hold of the script and adding a scene where one of the trolls sneezes on Bilbo. I know The Hobbit is a kid's book, but you're clearly trying to make it more serious, which isn't possible when you add scenes like that, it's contradiction incarnate. The dwarves are better done than a lot of reviews I've seen give them credit for. Some are kind of bland, but others such as Fili and Kili, Dwalin, and Thorin are all very entertaining, though I think they tried to make Thorin a bit too Aragorn-esque for my taste, as opposed to making him his own character. The action scenes are obviously well done, but no one really expected much else, even when they're not necessary.
Honestly, there were times when I loved this movie, and there were times where I was bored out of my mind. I honestly think it trudges too much and adds too much unnecesary and sometimes petty dull things to the story. Like reviving the Orc King just out of clear desperation for a main antagonist until they reach the mountain is pretty lame if you ask me, though I don't hate how they did the character himself, he's a bit typical, but menacing, reminds me of the villian no one remembers from Mulan. My favorite as well as most hated scene was the end where they start top reveal Smaug and leave you with just his gigantic eye. I really, REALLY hope they do Smaug justice. He's far from just a fire-breathing badass and if that's how he turns out, nerdrage shall soon follow. Overall, this movie's above average. Some great parts, some poor parts. I honestly believe this should have been two movies, or even one. you can tell even with the first movie that there's so much effort put into extending it, that it takes away some from what they do with the scenes that actually relate top the narrative they're using. I'll see the next two, and I'm hopeful, but my expectations are a bit on the low side.
Thanks for reading, blah blah blah, @SycoMantis1991 on Twitter, comment and follow and stuff if you'd like, have a good one.