29 ene. 2013

My Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (6/10)

¨My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures. Well, I can honestly say I've told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it.¨

After the huge success that Peter Jackson had adapting The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he brings us the prequel (which he has decided to do in three films as well). Of course fans are coming into this film with huge expectations, and I’m sure that fans of Tolkien will really love Jackson´s direction here since he himself is a huge fan of the series. I really loved his work in The Lord of the Rings, but wasn’t really too excited about The Hobbit. First of all, as much as I enjoyed the original trilogy, I couldn’t manage to watch those films again since I find them hard to rewatch, especially for being so long. Second I really wasn’t thrilled when I heard that Jackson was making three films instead of only two. This meant that the film would stretch out a little too far by adding some unnecessary elements that perhaps only true fans of the series would enjoy. Those fears were fulfilled while I was enduring the 160 minute long movie. I really didn’t get into the film until the last 60 minutes or so when Gollum appeared. The film actually takes 40 minutes before the actual journey even begins. I felt Jackson was just trying to stretch out the film a little too much so he could have an excuse to make three films and make a bigger profit. Well I have to admit the final third of the movie did raise my grade for The Hobbit and made it a worthwhile watch. I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t seen The Lord of the Rings, but if you have and you enjoyed those fabulous movies you might want to check this out with a bit lowered expectations. I really don’t think this trilogy was necessary, but fans might not agree with me.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is approached by Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to go on a journey alongside 13 warrior dwarves who want to reclaim their mountain home. The Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor was once majestic and powerful, but a fire dragon named Smaug, attracted by the gold, attacked them and forced them out of the mountain. The dwarves were forced to live as nomads and their King was murdered by Azog the orc during war. The King´s grandson, Thorin (Richard Armitage), survived and led his people bravely to victory, but it came at a huge price. Now 60 years later he and 12 other dwarves have decided to go on a quest with the help of Gandalf- the magician- and Bilbo who Gandalf insists must travel with them. He sees good and kindness in the hobbit, who he knows will be a good ally in times of need. Once they begin their journey towards the mountain they face several different kinds of enemies. It is not until they reach the goblin tunnels that Bilbo runs into Gollum (Andy Serkis) and finds the ring (which we are all familiar with from The Lord of the Rings trilogy). The quest for the mountain lies ahead, but they must face many more obstacles first.

Peter Jackson once again delivers great visuals with some great looking fight scenes. It is nothing we haven’t seen before in his other works, but it still is magnificent to look at. He also adds a few cameos from some of the characters we have all come to love, but in all honesty I had a lot of problems with the pacing of this film. It just took forever to get started and I had a hard time watching this. Perhaps the second film will be better in that there won´t need to be an introduction and we are already set into the action because the final third of the movie was pretty good. The film however is still very far from accomplishing what Jackson did in the original trilogy. He just pays so much attention to detail that the narrative feels too stretched out. This adventure film has its moments that make the movie worthwhile, but other moments feel completely dull and tiresome. I felt like there were several obstacles I had to get over before I could really sit down and enjoy the movie. This isn’t a bad movie; I would say it is more of a disappointing one considering it had to live up to the high standards of its predecessor. Another thing I felt didn’t work as well as in the original trilogy was the comedy. I found most of the funny scenes pretty unfunny actually and a little too forced. The jokes didn’t really work with me. The visuals as spectacular as they might be are not corresponded well with the narrative and pacing of the film which left me weary and tedious. Having that said, this is still much better than most of the sequels that have been made and fans will be pleased with Jackson´s work.

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