Lately movies have tried to emulate the epicness we had seen in the famous over three hours films like Ben Hur and others. Not only that, they want to surpass the amount of material they can show in a very limited format. We already had to suffer through a Harry Potter 7 1 and 2 and through the last part of the Twilight saga. Now, the odd adventure of the Hollywood filmmakers has continued with the ever classic The Hobbit.
I will be completely honest here: I did not want to watch the movie. But this wish was not because I loathed the final product, but above all because the new trend of parting al movies into smaller parts. But let’s start with the positive aspects, shall we?
The picture was just great. It is the usual Peter Jackson greatness, mixed with this gross image of the enemy that, just by the looks, is easily identifiable. Orcs are back, also more complex goblins. But greater yet is the image of the 12 dwarves. Neatly dressed and well-played as semi-barbaric folk only interested in gold and smashing an orc’s head, they were greatly portrayed by each actor. Definitely a big win.
Also, previous actors continued to show off their talents, making this movie memorable. But above all, the main character again managed to daze all the viewers. The great scenery was just, like in The Lord of The Rings, bedazzling.
This part of the review, though, you might already have read dozens and dozens of times. So, after having said the niceties and the big wins, I want to really focus on my main criticism of the movie. I liked the movie personally, but I had to delay the review because of one detail: I wanted more opinions. I asked co-workers and friends to tell me how they felt with the new movie and what they had experienced. Two answers were given to this question:
a) It was a great movie.
b) I slept during the movie.
Now, both these reactions stem from the same problem: while those interested in Tolkien and the wider mythology have come to embrace the extras that have drawn out the movie for over two hours, the normal viewer, who is expected to see this movie with the hardcore fan and interested, will not like it.
Even now some people tell me, when we talk about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, that it was at times boring, but it basically achieved what it was made for: to entertain the normal movie-goer. The Hobbit, on the other hand, as achieved what the previous trilogy had avoided almost perfectly: boredom over long periods of time.
Parts of this is due to the freedom of time Peter Jackson and crew got. The movie is riddled with scenes that are not precisely needed, even though they add. But even then, they tend to throw the Middle-Earth timeline into disarray. The scene with Radagast is one of those. Suddenly, the Mirkwood turns into the dark wood in mere days, when in the books it has been dark for hundreds of years. Now Sauron has been dead for less than 400 years, even though the third age began with the dead of him and it has been running even more centuries.
The sheer pressure of making more and more story does not only lengthen the movie unnecessarily, but it also makes the supposed continuity vanish step by step between The Hobbit and LotR.
Many elements do not belong in the movie, like Azog and others, but I accepted them, since the public needs more action. Besides, if the movie would have followed the book exactly, the first part would have been very boring. Still, it managed to be boring. The idea of making so many pictures out of ONE story just does not make sense for me. It is not necessary, and although it is interesting, it can be more difficult than useful. Now we have a public separated in two strongly divided parts and, although The Hobbit will make a nice dozen of Oscars again, it just follows the new merchandising pattern of Hollywood: more material, more movies, more time and more sales. This movie could have been done easily in two movies, but then again, we buy anything that has a good name on it. Don’t we?
May they smile upon your way!
PS: Investigate to understand: Orcs in daylight? Seriously?