Average User Score: 8.1Jan 11, 2013Before writing this I'd like to say I did not watch the 3D version of the film. Not because I'm a member of the anti 3D league but purely because I consider the length of 3D exposure to be a tiny bit excessive. So this review will not contain anything about HFR or the such, or me getting motion sickness and violently vomiting into a pop corn box.
Firstly I'd like to comment on the casting which over all I believe is positive, Ian Mckellen returns as the enigmatic Gandalf the Grey, Hugo Weaving as the noble Elrond and Andy Serkis as the bi-polaresque Gollum. Strangely enough both Christopher Lee as Saruman and Kate Blanchett as Galadriel also return despite not featuring in the book. Elijah Wood is used rather effectively as a screening device for Bilbo to tell his story.
The New editions to the cast are relatively hit and miss. Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) played the role excellently, portraying the home sick hobbit very well as an audience we can relate to Bilbo who like us is somewhat of a tourist in the fantastic Middle Earth. I'm also going to credit Ian Holm with playing the retired adventurer Bilbo well. Richard Armatige (Thorin Oakenshield) was another rewarding experience as he captured the King in exile exceptionally. Unfortunately with an adventuring party being 14, five more than the fellowship of the ring, many of the cast don't really get enough screen time. Those lucky enough to receive screen time do a very good job. Both Aidan Turner and Dean O'Gorman are blessed with screen time and bring their own quirk and charm to the roles. Ian Mactavish also brings a macho berserker edge to Dwalin. Ken Stott plays the wise Balin incredibly narrating Thorins past very well. The cast the cameras focus on are very agreeable.
The Sets and Locations are much the same as LOTR, which all in all is no problem, the epic New Zealand landscape paired with the incredible sets really give the film the edge over many other fantasy films. The Special effects are also breathtaking as ever, for instance the dragons descent upon the mountain city is incredible. Ok this is where my Gripe begins: As a child my mother read me the Hobbit, it's charm and beauty captured me and I cannot find a fault with its story in anyway. JR Tolkin for some, not all, weaves magic in the pages he writes. Before watching the film, I had heard rumours of the changes, additional sub plots which had no part in the book. I believed I would be able to look past them. I was very wrong. Unfortunately in aid of the 3 film cash cow expansion of middle earth, Peter Jackson or the powers that be have decided to add a few insy winsy major adjustments. Sauron has returned in the form of the Necromancer who is seeking to return, hiding out at some forgotten castle. Thorin Oakensheild has a nemesis of his own called the Pale Orc who he battled outside Moria. This of course is to provide action to stretch the 310 page book to accommodate enough material for 3 films. The Hobbit is not the Lord of The Rings trilogy, it is more child friendly than the much more mature LOTR trilogy, it should have been 2 films at most. The most upsetting thing is that the added story is so contrived it comes across as a caricature of the epic fantasy, this soap opera, cheap imitation that is neither here nor there.
Overall I liked the film. I wish I could have loved it, but I just can't with the commercialism they added. I respect Jackson for bringing LOTR life. However I feel this movie to be akin with king kong in some respects with all the pointless additions to the original. Peter Jackson please be Peter Jackson not George Lucas or Steven Spielberg.… Expand