HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Truly Disappointing Trek of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Twice as many frames per second and another dimension only serve to amplify the notable flaws of Peter Jackson’s truly disappointing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a bloated, dull mess of a film that meanders when it should move and stumbles when it should run. Paced like a high school student writing a paper to meet a word count but without anything actually worth writing, this incredibly slow CGI adventure barely merits comparison to Jackson’s masterful “Lord of the Rings” films other than to point out how much this work reminds one of another start to a prequel trilogy that quickly earned fan spite. The only problem with the comparison is that “The Phantom Menace” is arguably better.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm again in the opening but Martin Freeman as a younger Hobbit) is writing another story for young Frodo (an Elijah Wood cameo in the opening scenes) as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opens. It’s the tale of when Gandalf (Ian McKellen) came to the Shire and pushed young Bilbo on an adventure. The dwarves of Erebor, who we have learned were cast out of their home by a brutal dragon named Smaug and waves of horrifying Orcs, are attempting a return to their homeland and they need a burglar. Hobbits make good burglars. The wizard, the reluctant Hobbit, and the dwarves head off across Middle Earth, getting only part of the way in this first of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in our reviews section.

Telling a third of a relatively-small book in a 160-minute-plus film would be a challenge for any filmmaker but it is a particular one for Peter Jackson, who now has fallen so deep into his own vision of Middle Earth that he’s forgotten what first made it entertaining to viewers. After stumbling, bleary-eyed and weary from the “Journey,” I went home and watched a bit of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and the comparisons are easy to make, immediate, and not in the favor of “The Hobbit.” There’s an artistry in those three award-winning films that feels replaced by bloat here. There’s an urgency replaced by a sense that every shot, every angle, and every set needs to be adored and admired. Where we felt the need for Frodo to complete his quest, it feels like we’re more often being asked to appreciate the filmmaking during Bilbo’s. The filmmaking enhanced the story of “The Lord of the Rings” whereas the story merely seems a tool to expand Jackson’s technical skills to what will be nine hours of filmmaking. The priorities have shifted. It’s no longer a film about a Hobbit. It’s a film about a director who has the power to take a two-hour story and stretch it till it breaks apart in an explosion of 3D, 48fps, CGI glory.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” review.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt, and Andy Serkis. It was adapted by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, & Peter Jackson and directed by Jackson. It opens everywhere on December 14, 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker