Now, this is technically a post from the archives, as this is my review for, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which I saw and reviewed back in December 2012. But, because the second film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, is coming out in a few days, I decided to go buy myself the extended edition of the first film on blu-ray and refresh myself before hitting the cinemas this weekend. So I’ll be using that first review as the base for this new one, with a few extra touches thrown in.
I went into The Hobbit with very low expectations, and that was for many reasons. One, I just wasn’t as excited about the whole thing as I was with the LOTR films. Second, there had been a lot of bad buzz around the films for so many reasons, especially with the 48FPS issue.
So sitting down to see the film, in normal 24FPS, so as not to sway me one way or the other, I was really open to whatever came on the screen. Good or bad, I was going to try and let it be a blank canvas to let the film paint itself either for the positive or negative.
Firstly there were a few small issues I had where things just didn’t gel in the first half, but then it seemed to get its shit together from that point on-wards. Secondly I didn’t connect emotionally with it as I did with LOTR. But, I’m happy to give it slack, seeing as LOTR and The Hobbit are very different stories, and not to mention one has double the number of main characters, and no deaths to up the stakes.
But my main gripe is the over use of CG. The battle scenes were severally slackened as it ended up being real people vs CG characters so often or just straight up CG on CG. What was wrong with the physical stuff from LOTR? Helms Deep or Amon Hem anyone!? That shit you remember because so much of it was done for real, but none of the action stuff in The Hobbit was that memorable, as even the close up stuff just felt like all show, no substance. Also why did the white Ork have to be CG? Sure the Goblin King made sense, but I think a real actor inhabiting a mean costume would have made the white Ork so much better.
But other than that, I had no issues with the pacing, or the fact it stretched 7 chapters into a 3 hour film. It flew by, and nothing seemed to stick out like a sore thumb as not needed. And all up, the extended edition just made it better, which is exactly what I thought about the extended editions of the first three LOTR films. So all up, I really enjoyed it! Though, I will judge it as one long ass film when all 3 are out, just like I did with LOTR.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!