The Hobbit, or, Over the Top with Bilbo!

Oh dear. This is what happens when you try to out-lord Lord of the Rings with a much simpler, shorter tale. The Hobbit has gone from a journey into maturity for young Bilbo, to a rip-snorting adventure with set pieces more at home on a Disney ride. Orcs! Goblins! Revenge!

Admittedly, all the over-the-top derring do does help the almost three hours of movie pass more quickly than it feels, although it remains a tedious affair devoid of the warmth and suspense that the original three of Peter Jackson’s franchise mustered so very well.

I lost count of the wonderful hair-dos sported by the dwarves. Was mildly glazed by the repetition of events from the other movies, such as summoning eagles with a whisper to a moth or an outstretched hand winning the ring toss. Was bemused by the lack of continuity of events in the Shire as depicted in Fellowship.

And overall just a bit saddened that, to win the respect of his travelling companions, it wasn’t enough for Bilbo to be courageous and clever, but he had to kill something, too.

Hobbit wasn’t a bad movie, just a dull one, with music, sound effects and scenery among the highlights. It finally found some emotional resonance with the interplay between Gollum and Bilbo, too little, too late.

Where LOTR had me lining up for the DVDs — indeed, we just watched the extended versions again, a form of cleansing, perhaps — I won’t be dashing out for the Hobbit, and more’s the pity.

5 thoughts on “The Hobbit, or, Over the Top with Bilbo!

  1. Dare I say it. I might just get it on dvd an save myself the sore arse and yelling at the kids to “get off my lawn”. Thanks Jason for taking one for the team

  2. Did you watch the high frame rate version? In addition to your points (with which I wholeheartedly agree), the high frame rate made the special effects seem very dodgy – worse than the LOTR effects despite it being years later.

    I was very disappointed overall. I’ll probably see the other two (two!) movies, but I’ll be slightly sad while doing so.


  3. Yeah, it’s a weird process that draws us to watch 2 and 3, in the hope of improvement? Or just because the good bits look so cool on the big screen? We watched the ordinary version and were quite content with that in terms of effects.

  4. I think I’ll watch future ones in “normal” vision as well. The high frame rate stuff gives a very sharp, realistic picture, but I think there is going to need to be improvements in special effects technology to keep up.

    It goes against my geek nature, but I think this may be one of those times where the latest, whiz-bang technology is not necessarily the best.

    Now going to wash my mouth out with soap for uttering such blasphemy.


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