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The Hobbit: Movie Review
Captures it All
A Fan's Take on the Movie
I have to say that I was thrilled to hear, a few years ago, that they were finally going to make “The Hobbit” into a movie. Being a huge Tolkien fan and fan of the movies by Peter Jackson, I thought that this would be a fairly easy extension of what Jackson did before. Well, as you know, we waited, and waited and finally it got closer to being here and the reviews that came out were not all that great.
What are these people looking for?
On Saturday, my 11-year old son asked me to take him to see the movie which I was thrilled about since I had already planned on seeing it. He had asked me for the book a few weeks back but hasn’t started it yet which was probably a good thing. Here’s why. For the casual fan, this movie might come across as just way too long and a bit disconnected at times as the story jumps around a bit. There is a reason for this, the decision to make this story into three movies. The problem is that the book really isn’t all that long to begin with. Tolkien didn’t originally write this story for others and while he had ideas for the background to this story, they weren’t written down until much later.
All of that related material shows up in various places in the Lord of the Rings book trilogy as Appendices and later in the Silmarillion. Great as that all was to read, the movie-makers included it here in the beginnings of the Hobbit trilogy. These details do add to the story of the Hobbit and lay the beginning groundwork for explaining the rise of Sauron who is the antagonist in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Here he is simply called the Necromancer (as he is called in the books).
They added in a fairly useful part for the magician, Radagast the Brown. Book readers have only seen a few mentions of Radagast in the books but he has a real part to play in this movie besides some much-needed comic relief. They have also introduced a main villain, a pale orc named Azog for Thorin to fight against. There are some great battles in here as well, that never happen in the book. I explained to my son many of the differences, but he, after a while, asked me to stop because he was enjoying the movie.
And that’s all that matters in the end.
Yes, they stretched the story out quite a bit to make this into three movies. Yes they have absolutely added in information from other sources than just the Hobbit book and they are adding things not mentioned anywhere else but in the end, they aren’t adding outlandish things that don’t make sense. The dwarves go to Rivendell and we get to see the elves and Galadriel, Elrond and even Saruman before he goes bad. There’s a weird prelude scene showing us a very old Bilbo and a very young Frodo, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood from the LoTR movies. In the end though, this movie was great but now I have to wait for the next one.
It was so good that when it was over, my son said “That’s it?”
No, it isn’t. Two more movies are coming, and we’ll be waiting for them…
This one gets five stars for a great beginning to the story. I love what they did in pulling in information from the other books and they used it well. I don't think the "pale orc" was necessary but it does give the audience a real presence to root against. I'm sure this is one I'll see two ro three times in the movie theatre.
Picture is (c) to New Line Ciname and Peter Jackson