The Hobbit: An Unexpected Delight
Maybe it is because I have not read the book, maybe it IS a travesty but unlike so many reviews I read about The Hobbit I actually enjoyed it. My biggest concern was not that I would not like the film but simply that people said it dragged. One thing I loved about The Lord of the Rings trilogy was that, despite being three hours each, they felt much quicker than that, moving at an alarming rate and keeping you hooked for more. The Hobbit started a bit slowly but did make you feel all nostalgic for the other trilogy. When the Dwarfs arrived at Bag End I was concerned that it was going to end up one silly gag after another but to my delight it settled down pretty quickly. In between the jokes and over the top action there was some serious moments that at times tugged on the old heart strings. It just seemed to have enough comedy, when you thought it was going a little too far then it would pull it back again.
The reviews did seem fixated that Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum was as far as the film got but there is a lot that happens before that and I never felt it moved at too slow a pace, somethings were draw out longer than maybe they needed to but it was not as if I was there going ‘come on, we know what’s going to happen lets just get there.’ The setting too was lavish, flowing on well from Lord of the Rings, they even made it feel like it was before the event. Sometimes prequels can feel more advanced than the originals and feel at odd with what is effectively about to happen (take Star Wars as an example), but I never felt The Hobbit was anything but a section of the same story just set before hand, I think the fantasy nature of the film helped and the links to The Lord of the Rings were clear showing that it was not just a film adaptation of a children’s book but actually fits in with the whole story. My only real criticism here is that no-one seems to die, the dwarfs are in such peril a lot of the time but they always find a way out. I think to be more realistic (I know it’s a film with orc, dwarfs, elves and wizards but just go with me!) one or two could have faced an untimely end.
I have heard that there are many changes from the book but as previously mentioned I have not read it. Maybe when I get round to it (I need to finish Return of the King first!) I will change my mind, but once again I disagree with many film critics, this was a lovely story well told that had comic moments but was also a lot darker than I thought it would be. Tolkien’s story would be hard to do wrong after the success of Lord of the Rings and I feel some reviews are harsh. Is it a bad film? No. Is it worse than Lord of the Rings? Possibly. Does it feel part of the franchise? Most definitely. All in all it was a delight to watch, again I did not feel as if I was in the cinema for three whole hours and am looking forward to the next two (a cash in I know but if they are all at least as good at this it is not a bad thing). Maybe I should thank the reviewers, I have mention a lot previously about not going in expecting much. I don’t think I did because of bad reviews and came out pleasantly surprised. It might not be the best film ever made but it is one the best I have seen at the Cinema for a long while. Maybe that says something about the state of film making today, I personally think it was actually pretty good.