There and back again…again
So, Peter Jackson is going to tell the story of The Hobbit in three movies when it only took him three movies to recount The Lord of the Rings. This will be a bloated movie much like The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions.
I saw the movie in 24 fps and not the HFR version. I would like to see the 48 fps one, but I am not sure I can muster enough willpower to sit through The Hobbit again. It’s not bad. I rather enjoyed the return to Middle Earth and seeing some old friends again. However, it’s just an unnecessarily long movie.
The Hobbit is, of course, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The story revolves around a younger Bilbo Baggins who has been chosen by Gandalf the Grey to join a company of dwarves as they seek to reclaim their homeland from an evil dragon. Apparently, the dragon is familiar with the scent of most living things except hobbits, given that they rarely venture out of their homes in the Shire. That makes Bilbo the ideal candidate to be the group’s burglar. …and somehow he gives Gandalf courage, I guess.
Seeing Middle Earth (or New Zealand) again is always an enjoyable experience. The magic is still there even after we re-visit the Shire and Rivendell.
Martin Freeman is great as the bumbling Bilbo who gradually proves himself more than capable as an adventurer. Some familiar faces like Ian Mckellen from the Lord of the Rings also make fun appearances. Richard Armitage serves admirably as the Aragorn-type character with his role as Thorin, the leader of the dwarves.
The overall story is fun, and more lighthearted than The Lord of the Rings. The world is not quite on the verge of ending, but we see hints of what is to come with a dark force lurking in Middle Earth. The Hobbit’s tale is more episodic than The Lord of the Rings. It’s more fairy tale than epic fantasy. Still, it is a grand movie experience.
On the other hand, Peter Jackson needs an editor who can keep him grounded. He’s an amazing director, and there are fantastic moments in the movie. But he needs to learn to let go of some scenes. An early scene in the Shire that hearkens back (forward?) to Lord of the Rings should have been cut or left for the final movie. There’s some random battle between rock giants where the party is caught in the middle. Some of the scenes added to tie the story better to the Lord of the Rings could have been left out of this film. Meeting Gollum and seeing how Bilbo obtains the one ring should be a sufficient enough tie-in.
I look forward to the rest of the series. However, I cannot figure how Jackson will drag this out to two more movies. I hope by the third film, I do not grow tired of the story.