Movie Review: The Hobbit
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:02
Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is widely acknowledged as one of the best book adaptations filmed, and all three movies received substantial accolades on their own. With “The Hobbit,” Peter Jackson has once again made an expansive, sprawling film with an epic scope, similar in many ways to the original trilogy.
Rather than wondering how this resembles the original trilogy, it would probably be more fitting to ask how is this movie not like “Rings” trilogy? Jackson seems to have figured out a formula that works, with costumes, acting, score and cinematography, which all meet the high standards set by his earlier films. Special attention has clearly been paid to the design of the film’s 13 dwarf characters, each with immediately identifiable physical characteristics and relatable. The cinematography mirrors protagonist Bilbo Baggins’s awe at discovering the wide world around him, by including many sweeping, wide-angle shots, many of which pay homage to similar scenes in “The Lord of the Rings”.
Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo Baggins is commendable and seems to fit well with his ability to portray solid, sensible characters forced out of their comfort zone by unusual circumstances. The major differences of “The Hobbit” are in the 3D format, a heavy reliance on computer-generated special effects and the expanded scope of the original book. The first two, especially, give the movie a bit of an exaggerated feel
However, the overarching theme of the book, which is that small things (and small people) are in the end the most important, seems almost lost in some of the film’s grand-scale cinematography and extended length. The pacing is leisurely but there seems to be no sense of urgency in several scenes with tangents taken from the main plot take too much time to resolve, resulting in a jarring return.