The Hobbit is a Faithful, Long Adaptation

As a child, my parents made me watch The Hobbit animated feature a zillion times. They even had the book full of the illustration and story. I was so afraid of the trolls and their song about eating Bilbo. In fact, I got so tired of watching it that I never had anything else to do with it as I grew up. I haven’t watched any of the Lord of the Rings all the way through, and went to see The Hobbit An Expected Journey because, now, my boyfriend owes me. But it does allow me to give you my take on the movie.

For those of you living under the sea, The Hobbit is the tale of Bilbo Baggins a hobbit who likes the safety and monotony of his Hobbit Hole. When Gandalf the Wizard and his troupe of dwarves pay an unexpected visit, Bilbo becomes a part of the dwarves’ journey to reclaim their homeland.

Technically it looks really good. The majority of the environments are bright and clear and it seems realistic. But as much as Hobbiton is beautiful many of the CG action sequences are a blur. The dwarf battle in the beginning and rock giant battles have blurred background and scenery. Some blame it on the filming in a different film rate than we are used to, but if this was the case the rest of the movie would look the same. It is the CG heavy atmosphere that either loose clarity when transferred to 2-D or (most likely) a way to cut costs but not applying too much work for a crisp CG world. This happens often in movies including Transformers. So while this is a fault to The Hobbit, it is a fault of many movies as well.

Books fans will be delighted as the movie goes into minute detail of the events of the novella. Much time is spent on the dwarfs’ time at Bilbo’s house and the movie sticks to the majority of the action of the road. But this constant jump from action to action cuts down on any character development. It is not until the end of this almost three-hour-long film, that the viewers see any changes in the characters. It is hard to love characters that whiney or arrogant without seeing much growth.

For movie goers who don’t know the book by heart, the film becomes very tedious. Trolls and orcs and goblins and elves and hobbits and dwarves. There isn’t much time devoted to any one species and becomes a smorgasbord of fighting and overly CG’ed action sequences. Whatever wonder I felt about Baggins looking life like was lost in the long, tedious journey of this clan that isn’t even over yet. Also, it seems that Peter Jackson pays no attention to movie phenomenon around him or he wouldn’t have ended the first installment of The Hobbit with the same sequence as Breaking Dawn Part 1 did. It can’t be good for your viewers to say, “Twilight already did that!”

While the cut of the first installment come at the right place story wise, I wonder why they didn’t cut it about twenty minutes sooner. Like every book and movie in the cannon before, the parts with Sméagol are the best and the ones even non-fans like me are waiting for. From a film perspective, I would have split this scene into both movies for the benefit of the non-book fans.

The Hobbit has its merits but it will be the diehard fans that love it the most. Anyone else should wait for the DVD so you can pause it and stretch your legs and take an ADD break.