|Martin Freeman as young Bilbo Baggins.|
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Peter Jackson, & Fran Walsh
Written by Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, & Fran Walsh
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, & Andy Serkis
Peter Jackson's latest foray into Middle-earth is a thrilling, overindulgent adventure. This beloved prequel to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy follows the young hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), who is thrown into a perilous quest by Gandalf (McKellen) the wizard. Accompanied by a group of 13 dwarfs, Bilbo must help his party regain the Lonely Mountain, which was taken by a fierce dragon called Smaug. Inside their former home, the dwarfs' gold is being guarded by the creature, and they finally have a way into the mountain, after years of living elsewhere. Life in The Shire has been easy for Bilbo, and he will be tested, as their group faces numerous attacks from fearsome beasts, quarrels amongst themselves and with others, and, of course, two lengthy sequels still to come.
I'm not a massive fan of The Lord of the Rings, but I do like the films. Fortunately, this film is a lot of fun, even if it is much too long and very heavy on expositional dialogue. No doubt fans of Tolkien's saga will appreciate the pandering of the narrative, with three musical numbers and various subplots being introduced that ensure a nine-hour adventure for young Bilbo and his dwarf companions. Given Jackson's return and his expansion of The Hobbit films, it seems evident that this trilogy will be one strictly for the hardcore fans. The film is, honestly, quite boring at times, as evidenced by the two twentysomething couples who walked out during the first hour in my screening. Despite its good performances, technical prowess, and numerous compelling sequences, an overall lack of cohesiveness really hurts this film. Who knows? If it had a more concise, on point cut, the film might've been one of the year's best. Instead, it is some parts riveting, some parts amusing, and some parts dull and unnecessary.
Oscar Potential: Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Song ("Song of the Lonely Mountain"), Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects
I still haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings films, so I won't be seeing this any time soon, but your review has me considering checking them all out. I know that they are a huge cinematic blind spot to me, but I just never invested the time in checking them out.ReplyDelete
They're well-made epics, but I don't consider them all-time greats. I'd recommend seeing them at least once, especially since The Return of the King won Best Picture.Delete
I am very curious about this one, I am not sure if it's worth the cinema trip, considering I didn't particularly love Lord of the Rings. We shall see! Great review!ReplyDelete
Thanks! There are some great action sequences, but I don't think it has to be seen on the big screen necessarily.Delete
I'm definitely going to see it for my darling Lee Pace on a big elk, but I'm really mad about them breaking it into 3 parts, it's one book after all. No wonder it has boring parts, there is simply not enough story for 9 hours of material.ReplyDelete
The 3 parts have me worried about the boring scenes to come in #2 and #3. If they can make an 800+ page Harry Potter book into a 2 hour film, then they should be able to condense The Hobbit into a single 3 hour one.Delete
For me, The Hobbbit lacked the freshness of the previous Lord of the rings trilogy, despite the new HFR technology, and despite improved Gollum CGI. For pure spectacle it was worth seeing on the big screen, though, particularly the ending with the rope bridges was well-done. I agree it was overlong.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it felt like Jackson didn't try anything new here, in terms of storytelling. I agree that it is worth seeing on the big screen, and some of the action sequences were great.Delete