Okay, I caved and watched the Hobbit. You know what they say about curiosity…. So, naturally I have to review it, because I have been very busy having low expectations for it, bitching about how they turned this short book into three movies, and how they made the dwarves look like idiots in the trailer.
I got to say, I am amazed. Truly, stunned. I don’t think I can remember the last time I ever watched a movie and found myself thinking, half an hour into it, “my life is too short for this…”
Even if you know nothing of the book, the movie itself is just bad. The animations are rough, the speed with which they move are inconsistent with the rest of the “world” and it is very, very hard to figure out what is going on in most of the battle scenes, throughout the movie. Except for those completely ridiculous scenes where the dwarves just plow through the goblins in Moria, knocking them off the bridge handfuls at the time… that truly is a scene that rivals the scene in the Two Towers where the riders ride out and –over- the orcs on the bridge, completely without meeting any kind of resistance. The horses don’t even look like they are stepping on orcs, because they are not. It’s all computer animated and it falls flat. The Hobbit has a LOT of those scenes.
The acting falls flat time and time again. Even Gandalf does not ring true. He has become a cozy uncle like figure, smiling way too much, being way too friendly, far too concerned and absolutely not in any way scary-wizard-like. Most of the lines are delivered, by all of them, with a sense of indifference and you don’t really feel that any of the actors believe in their character. Except perhaps Ian Holm and Elijah Wood, and even they, in this relatively simple setting, feel a bit off.
The story is messy, it makes no sense most of the time and again, the director has made some very strange choices. I promised myself that I wouldn’t bitch too much over the dwarves, but I have to say this.
Bifur has an axe stuck in his head?
Why? Are you kidding me? Welcome to the world of Warhammer… Because it sure isn’t Middleearth anymore.
Thorin is pretty cool looking, only he doesn’t get to be cool at all. Not even the slightest. He doesn’t get to kill Azog. What? I mean, heaven forbid that the orc had the exact same motive as Thorin, avenging his father. But no, Azog has to live, to be the bad guy that haunts Thorin for no reason other than he hates him, while Thorin gets to be the weak little good guy that can’t seem to kill him, but desperately wants’ to, because he needs to avenge the death of his father. I am sure the audience could have understood, and even related to the orc as well, if Azog had died and his son had haunted Thorin instead, just like in the book, but we can’t have that.
No, the orc must be evil for the sake of evil, because everybody knows that his how you make a good movie. No shades of grey. Good vs bad. Do not confuse the audience, because we are all idiots and incapable of understanding simple story lines.
Apparently we can’t keep focus on the story either, without constant intermissions of orcs, haunting the dwarves, of completely unnecessary fight or fright scenes. Heaven forbid that you, as a director, had faith in the story you were telling, which incidentally is one of the bestselling books at all times. What on earth would make anyone want to change that? Thinking that it would be better if it was turned into a simple, foolish, sci-fi/fantasy story that even three year old children would get bored with half way through the first fight sequence?
But back to Thorin. I always loved him, by the way, in the book, this dark and kind of sinister dwarf on a mission.
Anyway, Thorin falls flat in the end of this movie, where he has been struggling to maintain some dignity through most of it. The scene where Thorin leaves the burning tree and goes to fight Azog, was kind of cool. I was thinking “okay, so he gets to kill him now. That is slightly redeeming then. Thorin gets to kill him, like he should have done in the beginning of the movie and he gets to look awesome while doing so.” I could have lived with that. Really.
But no, Thorin walks up to Azog, gets pawed in the face by the creature he is riding- I will not call it a warg, because it’s not. It never was a wolf nor looked remotely like one. The werewolves in Twilight are better animations than this- and he is beaten almost without a fight. Way to be the king under the mountain there, Thorin. Way to go, now we understand why your people follow you… Awe inspiring…
I will try to keep this brief, but this movie and everything about it really sets my blood on fire. Gandalf throwing burning pine cones at the orcs? Really? Setting the tree’s on fire while hiding in them? Is he a complete imbecile? The “warg” climbing trees, digging up trees? Oh please make it stop…
Which brings us directly to Ratagast. I am speechless. First off, the way Gandalf doesn’t even remember the names of the two blue wizards… that is just lazy. Don’t mention them if you don’t want to take five seconds looking them up online… it’s very easy to find out what they are called, even without reading the books, which clearly, the script writer for this movie didn’t bother to do. But Ratagast. With a birds nest in his hair, bird droppings running down his face, and riding a rabbit drawn sledge through the forest, despite the fact that there is no snow.
Shame, guys, shame.
The whole scene where he is introduced, the hedgehog part is just utterly stupid. Spiders? That close to the Shire? And how on earth did he bring the hedgehog back to life? It died… Doesn’t that make him a necromancer?
Which brings us to the white council and the necromancer part of the story which- wait a second- had no place in the Hobbit what so ever. But okay, fair enough, we can include that if we need to. Only, that brings back Lord Elrond of Rivendell in one of the most pointless scenes ever shot on camera. Our dwarven friends enter Rivendell, are met by an elf who tells them that Elrond is not home and then they turn around to see him gallop into the courtyard. Beautiful way to waste screen time. Why on earth wasn’t he just home? There was absolutely no point to that scene at all, except one. To make the elves threaten the dwarves by circling around them on their horses, and bring a bit of danger into the story yet again.
The entire movie is riddled with pointless animosity.
Elrond is a very weak character for me, he keeps standing in the back ground smiling like an idiot and you just want to shake him and shout, “You are on camera, act the part,” because most of the time he feels like he is not aware that he is supposed to act.
Galadriel is just as huge a problem and most of the time they haven’t even bothered to touch up her makeup, allowing her eye liner to run… yeah, that is how boring this movie is, I actually noticed things like makeup, and the people in the back…
Gollum is ever out of proportions, at least twice as tall as Bilbo if he straightened up, which makes no sense since he is a HOBBIT as well. His movements are almost as unreal as the rest of the computer animations and his face lacks expression. No, I am not a fan of having a computer animated character in a movie just yet, it is simply impossible to make them believable enough.
And it offers a whole other problem as well. Bilbo and Gollum does not really seem to be acting together. Bilbo keeps pointing his sword at Gollum and Gollum keep on not responding. I get that they must have shot them in two shots, and not at the same time, but it is horribly badly choreographed.
Sting, only glows blue half of the time it’s supposed to. That is so hard, remembering when you have orcs in the frame and not… Glamdring and Orcrist does not glow at all, at anytime and they look nothing like each other. Beautiful. Way to not read the book…
The ponies are very well done. For the first and only time in the movie, they manage to make the dwarves and the hobbit look real. Making them ride actual ponies can’t have been easy, the size must have been hard to go around and it is VERY nicely done, so thumbs up for that.
Wow, look at that, I found a positive thing to say about it.
So, I will end this post now, with the last thing I simply can’t keep quiet about. In the end of this movie, we see Smaug’s eye. The dragon sure looks… blue to me?
Really? Blue? I sure hope it is just wearing some blue eyeliner and once they get to introduce it in the second movie, that it will be RED. Because we all know that Smaug is red. Everyone knows that. Even my cat knows that and he never bothered to read the book…
One could argue that the color doesn’t matter, but it does. After all, why change it? The Hobbit is a good book, it always worked, why on earth make changes like that? And don’t tell me that is it because a blue dragon is going to look cooler on film than a red one because I am simply not buying that.
So, should you watch this movie?
No. Just no.
If you’re a fan of the book, you might end up with an overwhelming urge to go kill yourself half way through it and if you never read the book, I doubt that you will make it through this movie at all. It is just that pointless and boring.
Usually I would apologize for my Peter Jackson bashing, but not this time. I simply cannot wrap my mind around how any sane person could take a sweet little book like the Hobbit and slaughter it in every possible way and expect the fans to lie down and applaud.
So, no, don’t watch it. Life is simply too short.