Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Hobbit

So yesterday I finally got to sit down and watch Peter Jackson's first party of The Hobbit. It kinda sucked. Loosely based on Tolkein's classic short children book, the film guts whatever was fun and charming about the book and churn out a fest of mediocre CGI action epic nonsense. Curiously, Bilbo Baggins forgets that he never wanted to be part of all this dwarvish racket, but instead sets out to prove he is action hero. After all, why be the reluctant thief he was supposed to be, when you can be the warrior, John McClaine style, instead.

Almost three hours long, for what is basically 1/3rd of the book. Never mind that there is just not enough content for a nine hour 'epic', even Peter Jackson recognised that, dragging the first film with so much fillers and foreshadowing, you could churn out a new TV series "Dwarves and what they do in their fucking spare time whilst waiting to go on an adventure" and have enough for twelve episodes. In comparison, the Lord of the Ring films were nine hours long but the films were based on six books, and a tons more appendix.
Well go on then. You would be doing us all a favour
Then there's this Orc character called Azog, whose name was a mere footnote in the book, just so Thorin can have his Strider moment. Incidentally, Thorin is now a tragic action-hero unlike in the book where he is nothing more than a scheming thief - a far more interesting character. This film has none of the charms of the book. For example, the Gandalf here never attempts to hoodwink the trolls, Tom, Bert and Williams, by mimicking them, instead preferring to defeat them with some predictable physical approach. Straight out action film? You bet it is.

Finally, there's the ropey CGI. The Hobbit film had none of the visual wonders that graced us more than a decade earlier with Fellowship of the Rings. You would have thought that with advancement in technology, things would be different. Instead you get the typical Avatar look, where everything looks very flashy and CGI heavy, that nothing looks real - in fact The Hobbit is basically a three hours reel of a video game cut scene for a bad EA game. The trolls here look poor in comparison to their Norwegian counterparts in indie-flick Trollhunter, which costs $3.5 million to make, and is infinitely more entertaining. So yeah, more Transformers than Jurassic Park.

The film ends with the Misty Mountains clearly visible from our group of heroes, but sadly we are reminded we won't get to see it yet. After all, another film (ker-ching), no doubt filled with even more foreshadowing and exposition, stands in the way between them and Smaug's hordes of gold. Gosh, I can already imagine how Peter Jackson will screw up the last film with Thorin being the one to slay Smaug rather than Bard of Esgaroth. New Line Cinema, go fuck yourself.

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