First movie I’ve watched in a theatre for… well, probably 2 years. As a Tokien fan and as a kiwi it was my obligation to watch The Hobbit.
Before going in, the excitement didn’t grab me the same way the LoTR trilogy did. Perhaps’ with time my fervor for the book had faded, or perhaps deep down I held great trepidation knowing nothing can possibly come close to the masterpiece that was the trilogy.
Not to mention, The Hobbit is not the best book for adaptation. Sure, LoTR is a spaghetti of plots and never mentioned before characters and backstories, but it was epic. You have the constant menace that was established quite early on (and in the movie before the title even shows), characters whose fate is unknown for long periods of time and the worse is feared.
In The Hobbit, everything is a straight line and the story is told from Bilbo’s point of view, removing much of the action. (Gandalf disappears, Gandalf reappears, says he did stuff)
Then there’s the matter of The Hobbit being a book for kids… (well, despite the terrible orcs and scary spiders, it is for kids)
It’s hard to say what I expected going in.
I don’t think I had a set expectation.
I came out also not sure if I had a judgment.
Alot of things were off, but I’m not sure how much is the movie and how much is the book. On a level I wish they had stuck to everything, but I also knew that’d make for one terrible, terrible movie.
Take the troll scene. It would have been beyond silly to have the dwarves come two by two and clobbered silly by trolls the moment they came forth.
I do wish they have Gandalf imitate the trolls voice to get them to fight each other. But then again, not sure if that scene would work as a movie.
Then there’s a whole heap of running. Too much running. Then in the book it always felt the dwarves are just going down the street to the carnival, maybe gets run over by a horde of buffalo, get up, pat off the dust and laugh at each other. Some more tension was warranted.
I do know what I sorely miss. Fifteen birds in five fir tree! Come on Pete, that is one of the most memorable songs. Granted it was silly, very very silly to have the goblins dance in circles around the tree while singing like Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Pretty sure singing does not fit the goblins’ image.
And that’s the aspect of The Hobbit being a kid’s book. Everything is a little too surreal, and the baddies cute. Oh sure, Smaug burns people to cinders but he’s also more than happy to entertain a sneaky hobbit.