The Hobbit was author J.R.R Tolkien’s first visit to middle earth, and director Peter Jackson’s fourth. The story features a younger version of Frodo Baggin’s uncle, and tells about his first adventure and how he came into possession of the ring. Unlike the past trilogy, the ring actually plays a rather unimportant role other than being one more tool in Bilbo’s bag of tricks. Instead, the story focuses on Bilbo’s growth from a humble hobbit to a, still humble, heroic saviour of dwarves and slayer of orcs.
Though other critics have complained that the pacing of the movie was too sluggish, Some even calling watching the movie “a chore”, I think The Hobbit does something that movies rarely do anymore: give you time to love the character. If you have no idea what hobbits, and Bilbo particularly, are all about, then you will definitely feel that you have grown up with them your whole life after about 20 minutes of The Hobbit. Actually, this is possibly the best character development I’ve seen in any movie in a long time! Of course, it isn’t to Peter Jackson’s credit as much as it is to JRR Tolkien’s; Peter just did a great job of taking a cue from the book and not rushing into the more “important’ parts of the story. The same goes for the whole world of middle earth. The characters all feel as thought they’ve grown up here. It makes the world both a very believable place and easy place to get lost in for three hours! Even though I was tired, walking out of the theater after midnight, I still felt like I could have had more; It was just such a lovely place to visit.
The Hobbit’s sets were phenomenal. There is no other way to say it. You get to see the dwarf kingdom in all it’s pre-lord-of-the-rings glory, Rivendell and the shire again, and even the grand forest of Greenwood (a place that is eventually called Mirkwood in the later trilogy). It’s all just eye-candy, but I loved the slow camera pans around these ancient-feeling locales. The Hobbit just looked gorgeous all the from the Shire to the Goblin Kingdom.
Bilbo was a great character. In fact, I think he is–and this may be heresy to some folks–in many ways a much better hero than Frodo was. He was portrayed as quiet, humble and prone to prefer peace to danger and violence, yet also full of more courage and wit that even he is aware of. By the end of The Hobbit, the Bilbo you see has grown into a slightly different kind of hobbit than the one you were introduced to in the beginning. Again, more to Tolkien’s credit than Jackson’s
Highly recommended! 5 out of 5 hobbits agree, although the length may make one late for tea.
Here’s the trailer: