December 21, 2012 by Devin
It was actually quite good.
Seeing as my first post on this blog was about how I was nervous about the fate of The Hobbit, and to be fair, I still think I was fair in that nervousness. The Hobbit is a lot of exposition, a lot of extra stuff not directly related to the plot just thrown in there, and a lot of movie. In short, there are many reasons why a film like this should not work.
But The Hobbit gets a pass, and that’s because of the heart of the filmmakers.
One of the biggest differences between Lord of the Rings and other fantasy works like A Song of Fire and Ice is that Tolkien loves the characters he writes. I do not mean this in the sense that he thinks his characters are the best characters ever written or because he loves them as characters. No, Tolkien loves his characters as friends. The way he describes his characters is not realistic, but rather loving. The good guys are good because that is the way Tolkien sees them. Tolkien frames his stories as a book that was written, showing people and events as they should be rather than what they are. Ultimately, the reason he succeeds is mainly because he makes the audience fall in love with the characters as well.
If we look at The Hobbit as a movie, there are many things we can critique from it, as we should. I do not think any movie is immune to dissection, but I think that the heart of the film shown through even in the imperfections. There is a tremendous passion throughout the film. When the dwarves are introduced, there is a boisterous and lively scene followed by a somber period of reflection, really hitting home how important this quest is. The action scenes are often ridiculous, and the stakes do not always seem high, but there is a great energy throughout them that makes the movie fun.
I am not saying the movie is perfect. I am not saying it is better than Lord of the Rings. Frankly, though, I feel like comparing the two in terms of quality is a faulty notion. You’re just going to tarnish a good experience. What I will say is that The Hobbit is a welcome return to Middle Earth, and that…
(By the way, how awesome was it that there were no human characters of note in this movie. It definitely feels like a much different adventure than Lord of the Rings and also makes the world seem a lot bigger)