Over the Christmas weekend, I had the privilege to see Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Hobbit movies. I was skeptical, I must say, because the plan is to turn this 300-page children’s book with a limited plot line into 3 3-hour movies over the next few years. I was wondering, as I sat in the theater, just how much of the story we would get through in this first installment. Below is my review.
First, I’ll give my rating. I give The Hobbit 5 stars! It was excellent. The pace of the movie was good, the most pertinent information was covered and it ended at an excellent place leaving us wanting more and anticipating the next movie.
Spoiler Alert – During this movie review I am going to spoil it, so if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, beware.
There were lots of great decisions and a few poor ones. Below are 3 of each.
- Where to begin. The beginning of the movie actually begins at the same time that the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings movie began – Bilbo’s birthday party. Instead of following the wanderings of Frodo on the day of Bilbo’s birthday, we stay in the hobbit hole with Bilbo and he begins his memoires, There and Back Again. It gave us an opportunity to see some of the old characters of the original Lord of the Ring movies such as Frodo.
- The foretelling of the Lord of the Rings storyline. When J.R.R. Tolkien first wrote The Hobbit, not only was it a children’s book, but he didn’t know that he was going to create the sequel adult novels, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With hindsight as our friend, the movies do a great deal more foretelling of what Bilbo’s adventure will eventually bring to his family and friends at The Shire.
- Gollum’s scene with Bilbo. It was my most anticipated scene from this movie, when Gollum meets Bilbo and they have a game of rhymes in the belly of the goblins’ lair. I loved it!
- This first is actually yet to seen. I’m skeptical that the timeline is running appropriately to allow for 3 movie installments. As of the end of the movie we’re about ½ way through the story from the book. What will the last movie be about? How much filler will be needed to create the last two movies? How far from the original story will Jackson stray in order to create the amount of content needed? Only time will tell.
- The Brown Wizard. Although mentioned in The Hobbit as one of Gandalf’s colleagues, the Brown Wizard had quite the role in the movie version of the book. I cannot remember his role being so prominent in the original story and I’m not sure if it added much to the movie’s plot in general.
- The prince dwarf being played by Richard Armitage. Over 6 feet tall and extremely proportionate in size, Armitage makes a poor dwarf. There are no boots big enough or pants low enough to give him the illusion of being a dwarf. He’s even stated himself that he doubted he would make a good fit for the role before they began filming because of his stature.
Don’t get me wrong… This isn’t your kids’ Hobbit. This movie shows violent fight scenes and makes adult jokes. But the movie is fantastic and even if you haven’t read the book, you’ll enjoy the movie and the storyline. Just don’t be surprised by the shallow plot line.
What did you think of the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?