The Hobbit Review
The Hobbit Movie Review Review Tolkien
So I saw The Hobbit the day after it came out in theaters, and I’ve been meaning to write a review since. This review will contain some slight spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d wait to read this entry until then.
I want to start off with saying that the book is fantastic – it’s a perfect kid’s fairy-tale-type-book, but then again, that’s not surprising, considering Tolkien wrote it. However, the movie is not the book – not exactly, anyway. Of course this was completely expected, and I personally didn’t have a problem with it. But if you’re expecting it to be the book line-by-line, you’ll be disappointed.
That said, it is “the movie” – it fits in very nicely with the LOTR movies, and is a great prologue to the trilogy. Half of me wants them to release a “book version” (basically, cut out all the extra scenes, change some of the changes slightly to better fit the book, etc.). I realize this is improbable, but I still think it’d be cool. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie, and I’m sure I’ll love the extended edition, too. I just think it’d be awesome to have both; a “book version” and a “movie version.” But yeah, that’s not going to happen. =P Anyway, it's also obviously a lot darker, but that's to be expected -- I wasn't disappointed with that bit.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins is the absolute perfect choice. He was completely fantastic, and is the perfect, perfect Bilbo (and Watson, for that matter). His whole part was extremely well-done, and I loved every one of his scenes. Ian McKellen, too, did a supurb job. Of course all of the other actors did too, but I thought that they, particularly, did an outstanding job.
But of course that list of “outstanding jobs” would not be complete if I didn’t include Andrew Serkis in that list. His performance as Gollum was absolutely amazing, and was one of the best parts about the whole movie. The Riddles scene was very well-done (sure, some slight inconsistencies like there being more light than there should be, but again…this is the movie, so that didn’t really bother me. And the riddles themselves were fantastically done – I’m really hoping all of them are included in the extended edition).
Back to the movie itself, the beginning was absolutely fantastic. Yes, I’ve probably said “absolutely fantastic” or some variation of a dozen times already, but I don’t care – because it’s true. The history of the Lonely Mountain was done extremely well, and I loved how you saw Smaug but at the same time…you didn’t (if you saw the movie you’ll understand what I’m saying =P). On that note, everything about Smaug was well-done. Sure, I wish we could’ve seen him in this movie, but at the same time, I think they built him up spectacularly, and I’m sure the second part of the trilogy will be amazing with him.
The very beginning narration with Ian Holm and the tie-in to LOTR was also extremely well-done. I really, really enjoyed this, and the first…30 minutes or so all together, with Bilbo and Frodo and later Bilbo the Younger. As implied, I really liked how they tied this movie into Ian Holm telling Frodo about his adventure, the switching to Martin Freeman. And I liked how for the first part with Martin Freeman, some lines were copied directly from the book. I had just read the book a few days before, so it was cool seeing that.
The dwarves were over-all well-done. I had some concerns about them at first, but after seeing the movie I was pleased with their performance. I do wish they could’ve had their instruments and their coloured hoods, but their “That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates!” song was very well done. Even more so was the Misty Mountains song – that was just simply fantastic, and one of the best parts of the movie. Which, speaking of, the whole soundtrack was extremely well-done. Of course, that was expected with Howard Shore, but still. I can’t wait to buy the Deluxe Version at some point.
As for the Azog inclusion…I guess I both liked and disliked that. Obviously it’s not true to the book, but I liked how there was a single antagonistic character for the dwarves and Bilbo. I also thought that Azog was very well-done, himself, and seemed to be a cool character. At the same time, I think they could’ve gone slightly more in-depth with him. Sometimes it seemed like he was placed in simply so there was an “enemy” for the company. The inclusion of the Necromancer, too, was cool, and I definitely look forward to Cumberbatch playing him in future films (who is, of course, a perfect Sherlock as well). And I thought most of Rivendell was well-done. I also liked Radagast for the most part.
The troll scene was obviously different from the book, which I both liked and disliked. The personalities were very well done, but I kind of wish Gandalf would have done his voices trick. At the same time, I understand having to introduce Bilbo as the “hero” early on, since they’re dragging it out to three, three-hour-long movies.
I was very pleased with the portrayal of the goblin king. I was interested to see how they would do that, and I think they pulled it off well. His death, however, not so much. In fact, it was rather lame, unfortunately. Which is really too bad, considering I liked the rest of him. Oh well. But on that note, I didn’t like the front porch scene. I really wish they would’ve kept truer to the book here (I liked how there was a crack in the wall, and the ponies disappeared, etc., rather than the movie version). Oh, well.
The stone giants, too, was a little over-done. I really liked it, up until the point that they were stuck on the giant’s legs. That just went overboard, and wasn’t necessary. I wish they would’ve kept it off to the distance – have them dodging boulders, sure, but to be actually on a giant was a little much.
And lastly, the ending could’ve been done better. The very, very end was done well, I think, in the sense that it was a good way/place to stop it (I hope that the eagles speak in the second movie, though). But the tree scene was…disappointing. Of course you had to have the dramatic Thorin and Azog (which wasn’t even done all that well, unfortunately). The idea itself wouldn’t’ve been too bad if it were done a little differently, I think. Even Bilbo saving him, I can see how that’d be useful to develop Bilbo’s character. But it just wasn’t executed as well as it could’ve been. And the falling trees and domino effect was even worse. I have to say I was disappointed with that. Oh, well.
This was the first time I had seen a 3D movie, and I think it worked well here. Also the sped-up frames-per-minute was kind of cool. I didn’t really notice it all that much, but coupled with the 3D at times it definitely worked well. I’ve heard some people say that the movie seemed too long, but personally I didn’t think so, and I was happy with the length (in fact, I was surprised it was over all ready when it was – didn’t seem like nearly three hours).
Overall, The Hobbit was a great movie, and I’d highly recommend it. Sure, there were other small little problem I had with it (mostly from differences between the movie and book), but overall it was amazing, especially if it’s looked at as a prologue to the movies more than an exact movie-version of the book. Peter Jackson did well, and I look forward to the Extended Edition and the next two movies.