The Lord of the Rings films were magical and fun. The extended editions added everything a geek wanted. The films somehow danced the line between geeks and regular audience members. Could Peter Jackson do it again with the Hobbit? Well this will probably be debated for a while, for geeks or Tolkien fans they will love this movie but for regular joe audience members the movie may lag since it doesn’t have the punch of the LOTR movies.
We follow Bilbo Baggins who is telling his story after the events of LOTR so we get a brief appearance from Frodo(Elijah Wood). We then follow a young Bilbo Baggins(Martin Freeman) who after running into Gandalf(Ian McKellen) is basically forced into an adventure. The story is not very deep from here. Basically a very greedy dragon destroyed the homeland of the Dwarves so he can have all their gold. A group of Dwarves team up with Gandalf and Bilbo to return to their homeland and take it back from the dragon. Problem is on their journey they find themselves hunted by Orcs and other nasty things.
The movie is beautiful, digital work is perfect and the sets seem like art work. The actors are all great as well, the stand out for me was Martin Freeman who is so charming as Bilbo you can’t help but cheer him on. When he looses the group and meets Smeagol/Gollum(Andy Serkis) and have a match of riddles. This scene is a classic and wouldn’t have worked without Freeman.
The major problem for the movie is pacing, when Peter Jackson announced the Hobbit would be split into three films to match the LOTR I think most people expected the movies to be a little bloated. Well the Hobbit slows down so many times you’ll find yourself glancing at your watch. The best way to watch this movie is to sit back and enjoy the adventure because the plot spins around for a while. You forget half way through that the goal for the group is to chase down and fight a dragon.
I do suggest watching the LOTR before catching this movie, a lot of it plays to those films. We see Frodo, the ring and many characters talk about a rising evil, Gandalf himself admits towards the end of the movie that the dragon they are going after isn’t even the most evil thing out there. These movies will be about the adventure leading up to the war between good and evil, if you sit back and remember that then you should enjoy yourself during the Hobbit.