The Hobbit is one of those movies that won’t really blow you away, unless you haven’t seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies, it won’t astound you. However what it will do is fill a good couple of hours of your life with something that is fun and easy on the eye.
It’s a shame the movie doesn’t grab you more than it does, Peter Jackson does well, it’s just that he’s doing what he’s already shown us he can do with the LoftR movies: the sweeping panoramic shots of New Zealand, Gollum saying precious and a host of creatures swarming about the place.
Martin Freeman plays a young Bilbo and he plays it very, very well. Ian McKellen gets a much larger role in this movie then previously as Gandalf and then there’s a whole host of Dwarves lead by Richard Armitage (sounding exactly like Sean Bean) with Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt and lots of others.
There’s been some criticism of the need to split the film into so many variants when the book is so small and when you get to the end of the film you can see that come to pass. It ends somewhat, well, unexpectedly!
And once it’s ended and you reflect on what you’ve just seen you kind of think ‘what’s the point’? You see, whilst things occur, whilst you’ll laugh and listen and wonder, nothing much really happens. A few fight scenes, they travel, but in terms of plot and characters we don’t see much, this is a very extended first third (or quarter) of a movie.
What Jackson is doing is taking the usual thirds of a movie and making them into individual movies, it’s like he’s designing the whole thing to be watched in some massive marathon.
It really is a shame as this isn’t a bad movie, far from it, but it would have been great to see what someone else could have done with it. I’m a big fan of Guillermo del Toro (he still has a writing credit) and if he walked away because he was trying to be different and Jackson didn’t like that then that’s a crying shame.
A special mention has to go to Sylvester McCoy playing Radagast as he is superb in the relatively small part we see, makes you wonder why he’s not in more things. Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) is also very good as the voice of the Great Goblin.
The affects are good the dialogue is good and the sweeping panoramic shots are very sweepy and panomaricy, now just show us something a little different in the next one please.