After the amazing panoramic experience of the Lord of the Rings trilogy I held reserved feelings for The Hobbit. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe it would be a great movie but that I felt that it wouldn’t be able to surpass the epicenes of its forbearers. While in several regards I was correct and that The Hobbit didn’t surpass such films, I was incorrect that it wouldn’t be a memorable experience.
Starring reclusive Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit revolves around Bilbo’s sudden reunion with an interesting wizard called Gandalf the Grey. Somewhat eccentric Gandalf asks Bilbo if he is interested in an adventure; while hesitant at first Bilbo eventually comes around after a night of hosting a party of Dwarves.
From this beginning the company sets off for the far away peaks of the Lonely Mountains. It is in this vicinity in which the fallen Dwarven kingdom of Erbor lies in thrall to the dragon Smauge. The company, headed by a determined Dwarf prince, is dead-set on reclaiming his kingdom no matter the cost. Yet impeding his travels is the reemergence of his old time foe: the Orc king, the White Orc, a foe which he once thought dead.
Braving haunted forests, tricking trolls, escaping goblin enclaves, and enduring harrowing encounters with the help of overgrown eagles this adventure is one of far-reaching proportions. While everything about the film is fantastic, down to the acting, music, and setting, it does feel somewhat tired. By this I mean the wonder of re-exploring Middle-Earth appears to have lost some of its luster primarily due to its familiarity; I have seen first encounters with Gollum before, I have known the luster of laying eyes on Rivendele for the first time, and I have seen careful escapes via the means of great birds. All of it seems almost contrived.
It is almost like Peter Jackson simply threw in as much awesomeness from the original trilogy and called it a day. Yet I suppose you can only draw on so many “first time” moments when you are a dedicated LOTR fan. So in this case, knowing that there are great amounts of backstory to explore, such sins can be overlooked.
That being said this is a dynamite film. The first in a new trilogy of movies exploring J.R.R Tolkien’s universe I am already in anticipation for the next installment. So at the end of the day The Hobbit has its minor fouls (including the typical pro-Israeli allegory) over all it is a movie not to be missed by any high fantasy fan looking for the next great ride.