The Hobbit 2: Patrons's Official Review
Before I go into any detail I would like to clarify that although I intend to be critical, I truly enjoyed this film for what it was; two and a half hours of dwarfs running away from stuff. In a vacuum this was an excellent fantasy action adventure. But this is not a vacuum. There are a number of ways to look at the film. Lets do that.
The film oozes overly dramatic nerdy dialogue. Virtually everything that is said is said with dramatic emphasis, dramatic lighting, and dramatic camera movement. Particularly when elves are speaking. Peter Jackson loves (male) elves.
Well, technically speaking there were no ninja's in the film, but since Mr. Jackson does not know the difference between elves and ninja's... There were lots of Ninja's. Including, much to my dismay, Legolas. "Oh man, what if there was a totally beautiful, male elf, with dreamy eyes, that was also a completely invincible ninja archer, that could overpower eight foot tall orcs, and that was a little bit somewhat obviously gay?". Why the hell is Legolas in this movie?
TRAVEL SCENES SANS COMBAT: 3
No, not 3 out of 10, 3 out of movie. Evidently there was not enough action and suspense in the book so Mr. Jackson decided that anything moving should get ambushed by orcs. Thrilling? Yes. Huge departure from original story? Yes. Necessary? No. Tiresome? Yes.
Is it possible to film a two and a half hour movie with bridges, and/or cliffs in very nearly every scene. I thought not. I was wrong. Almost the entirety of the film takes place on a cliff or a bridge. Even when they are traveling through the forest it is done so on fallen trees of beside cliffs that fall into nowhere. Peter Jacksons vision of Middle Earth is one where every citizen lives in constant danger of falling into an abyss.
ARROGANT RE-WRITING OF BELOVED CLASSIC: 10/10
While many of the classic scenes remain intact, the central literary conflict of the story (Man Against Self) has been replaced with (Man Against Alien Force). "The Hobbit" does not have a primary antagonist, it is about Bilbo the homebody growing into Bilbo the adventurer by facing a series of antagonists. The Movies have cast all the antagonistic forces under the yolk of the big fozzle from The Lord of The Rings. The steps taken to do this are nothing short of a total rewrite. It would take me way to long to itemize these changes, but they are stupid.
Maybe the best dragon in a movie. Totally worth the 2 hour orc chase scene the preceded his appearance.
i'm boycoting all of them because i love the book and while they did a good job of following the books for L.O.R. there just isn't 3 movies worth of adventure in Hobbit.
To be fair, it has been 20 years since I read the Hobbit. I tried to reread it a couple of years back in anticipation of the movie and just couldn't get back into it. I only say this because I honestly couldn't point out the differences between the book and movies at this point, but that being said, I don't remember the book being 3 movie worthy either. But again, long time no read.
I do find it sad that as awesome as I thought the LOTR was, I am kind of finding the Hobbit lacking. I watched the first movie in the higher frame rate and couldn't shake the feeling of how odd it looked. Distracted me so much that I couldn't concentrate on the movie. Also seemed like a LOT more CGI than the LOTR movies. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't every remember looking at a scene in LOTR and saying to myself, "man that looks like a cartoon."
While it's good entertainment, I really don't care about the departures from the book, I do feel that Jackson may have originally had a vision and in a sense whored the movie out for a fatter paycheck in the end. A little sad. However, I do realize that there is some artistic license from book to movie. Heck, look at the Game of Thrones series vs the book. Ive read all the books and there are some fairly substantial deviations from the books to the screen adaptation. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does happen. However, the changes seem to be made more to compact the script rather than drag it out for payola.
I feel about the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy exactly the same as I felt about the books growing up: loved the LOTR Trilogy (both books and the movies) and did not care for the Hobbit as much...not saying I did not like the Hobbit, just that it was not as entertaining to me as the other films, much like the books.
But yeah, three separate books for the trilogy and three separate adaptations, one volume for the Hobbit and three films: I can see why Peter Jackson is throwing so much new stuff in, which I don't agree with at all. Taking artistic license with someone else's work to that degree is arrogant in my opinion, as if he is trying to improve on something that does not need it.