This is going to be a quick review. Mostly because the film has been out for almost a month now and there’s almost no point to reviewing it. But there are just a few points I waned to bring up.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is actually two films. No, I’m not referring to the it being a trilogy. This first installment is itself two entirely different movies.
The first is something close to the light adventure story most of us know. A hobbit named Bilbo Baggins reluctantly joins a band of dwarfs to take their home back from the big mean dragon Smaug.
The second is the other stuff is the Lord of the Rings prequel. That means an inflated running time. Giant action sequences. Swooping camera shots. And striking visuals. I know that The Hobbit is already technically a prequel to Lord of the Rings. I’ve never thought of it that way. For me, a prequel should have been created after the fact with the intention of leading into an already established story. The hobbit was written LONG before Lord of the Rings, therefore, as far as I’m concerned, it ain’t a prequel.
Being that Peter Jackson has already told the big dark story that was the Lord of the Rings, doing The Hobbit almost seems unnecessary. The Hobbit is not the same as Lord of the Rings. It’s a children’s adventure story. Not only that, but the style of the two books are entirely different. Other than a couple of characters, the ring, and the setting, the two books are barely connected. Their two stories that happen to take place in the same universe.
Yet for some reason Mr. Jackson felt the need to tie them both together. Keep some of the light tone of the children’s book, and spin some adult tones around it. That way he could have a seamless transition between the two trilogies.
Hence, two films.
Both films are good. I very much enjoyed Martin Freeman (never more perfect casting have I ever seen) as Bilbo, going on his adventure. I also really liked all the Lord of the Rings prequel stuff. It made for a very unbalanced journey indeed.
Other than that, the performances were great, the production was fantastic, and the score was just plain brilliant. Oh, and it is far too long. I like long movies. i thought Lord of the Rings was a perfect length. This could have easily been two hours. I have no idea how they’re going to stretch this out over another six hours.
Well, I suppose that’d be okay, as long as they have more time for Rataghast. Love me some Sylvester Mccoy.