Wednesday, 16 January 2013

My Thoughts on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Since I am going to be discussing the movie in detail, consider the following four pictures as spoiler space, some of it quite pretty dwarves :)

Okay, so what did I think of The Hobbit - hmm, well, firstly, I'd like a non-director's cut, please, where they put the story back together in one movie, because, that film was all beginning. It lacked pace, because it was never going to get anywhere. The Hobbit is a short book, it has a beginning, middle and an end, and, even with adding in all the extra info from the appendices, that film did not require that long to get to the point it did.

I thought the beginning before the credits was allowable, although a little indulgent on time, there was a lot that could have been cut out, including all the stuff with Frodo and Bilbo (even though it was fun and what I'd term 'a darling', it was unnecessary). However, the bit with Bilbo and the dwarves in The Shire was excellent, well paced, fun, introducing characters and setting the scene well. Unfortunately, the film, as far as pacing goes, went downhill from there.

After they left The Shire, it became a collection of walk, run, grimace and pace a bit, walk, run, grimace some more. There was very little development of plot, it stayed on one level, the only thing that grew was the realtionship between Thorin and Bilbo and even that was pretty one-dimensional. We seemed to always deal with the dwarves as a group (apart from Thorin and one gem of a moment between Bofur and Bilbo before they get caught by the goblins), which meant that after the intros in The Shire, which was skilfully done, it was all homogeneous fighting for most of the cast and dry watching for the audience.

I did think Martin Freeman was entertaining as Bilbo, he was playing Martin Freeman as he always does, but it worked for the character of Bilbo. I did not however get much growth from him, he doesn't change, even after he'd taken on the Orcs to save Thorin, I didn't feel he'd grown, although attitudes to him do change, and I was wondering if that was deliberate, or not. I'm not sure.

The three dwarves that made an impact on me were Thorin (god can he brood well :P), Kili (nice eye candy, yes, that's shallow, but he is quite pretty), Bofur (he made a mark in every scene he was in, nicely done James Nesbitt, nicely done).

I also enjoyed Sylvester McCoy as Radagast The Brown. He was so sweet and he won my heart when he saved the hedgehog, Sebastian. It was twee and slightly pointless in this movie (did I mention, we didn't really get anywhere as far as plot was concerned), but I'm a sucker for cute animals and that bit made me smile. The whole chase across the moorland with the Orcs was a bit OTT though and what happened to Radagast after that? I might have missed it, I was losing interest in that chase by the time it finished.

The action sequences, like much of the rest of the movie, were slow and repetitive  The worst bit being the whole getting caught in the middle of the rock giants' fight. There was absolutely no point to that section, it does not add to the movie at all, you could have had Bilbo fall off the path in the rain storm and needing to be saved and have achieved exactly the same, not very tense, moment from Thorin that followed. The whole lurching around improbably on moving cliff edges was pointless and, since all the characters ended up exactly the same way they had started, nothing progressed, not even the relationships.

I dread to think what mass of filler will be in the middle movie, or maybe the trilogy will just have a very long ending. Whichever, I don't think I'll be bothering to see them in the cinema. The 3D that we were forced to watch because the cinema didn't have a 2D showing, was pointless, the only scene where it had any effect for me was the last one where the eagles fly round the rock and I really wanted to fast forward through all those damn chases. It wasn't a terrible movie, but it was too long and needed to finish the story.

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