I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (especially The Fellowship of the Ring) but I didn’t feel a big rush to return to Middle Earth. I was preparing to give The Hobbit a chance when I first heard it was being released, but felt my interest waver when I heard about it being split into two films. That was pushing it. Then came the news that The Hobbit was to become a trilogy. My reaction:
I give up.
I’ve never read the book but I’ve seen the size of it, how would there possibly be enough content to fill up three films. This is just film studios trying to take more money out of us surely? I was determined not to succumb to it.
Then a friend of mine came up to visit and wanted to go to the cinema. We’d both already seen Skyfall and I couldn’t bring myself to watch Twilight so the only film that sparked a little interest from both of us was The Hobbit. So I brought my popcorn and made sure I was sat comfortably as I was sure to be in for a long, somewhat repetitive journey back into Middle Earth.
To my surprise it was worth revisiting the Shire. Despite being nearly three hours long there was only a few moments where my attention wavered and even then I amused myself by playing-guess the British actor under the dwarf beards. The fact that this film succeeds is mostly down to the ever reliable direction by Peter Jackson, making sure Middle Earth looks outstanding as always (I especially like the stone giants), and leading man Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Freeman has already had great roles in tv shows like The Office and Sherlock (if you haven’t seen the tv series please do so-it’s fabulous!) and he continues his trade in likeable, exasperated characters. Here he is the calm, not naturally heroic hobbit who decided to take the journey even if he doesn’t know if he has what it takes to make it. His scenes with Gollum (Andy Serkis)being the highlight.
There are flaws. I’m not sure if the film really needed much of the opening narration or if the cameo from Elijah Wood really added much to the film. The main issue was that with so many dwarves (thirteen in the end I think) it was hard to remember them all and only a few really stood out, James Nesbit as Bofur and Aidan Turner as Kili (mostly because he’s sexy Mitchell from Being Human).
But as someone who didn’t think they’d make the journey to Middle Earth again, I’m now excited to see where the next two films will take me, although I still don’t know if they have enough material to cover another 6 hours of adventures.
3/5- maybe not quite the classic like The Lord of The Rings but it has the potential to be part of a series that can become one.