An ambitious project, with a sad result
10 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In Jackson's defense: the project was ambitious to begin with. Turn 310 pages of children's literature into an epic Hollywood trilogy. Many debates go on about which movie was the best: the fairy tale, the one in-between, or the die hard-alike final. The sad truth is, that to a pure fan, they are, one by one, in their own unique ways, an abomination.

What can one expect, from a battle that starts in the third-to-last chapter in the book, but that goes on for 144 minutes in the film adaption? Granted, some of the battle scenes were innovative. In fact, the beginning, the cooperation between the elves and dwarfs, who had been ridiculing each other like Tom and Jerry at first, was most entertaining. For a few minutes, at most. But not for two hours.

Of course, the writers realized this. Therefore, these bombastic large- scale battles were altered with individual scenes. And this is where all touch with Tolkien faded. Not only were the action scenes needlessly absurd, (I think of Legolas jumping from one falling stone to another, of Azog opening his eyes in an o-so-melodramatic fashion we've seen way too many times, and of Brad's ridiculous carriage scene) but the individual stories weren't nearly as grasping as they should have been.

And this can be forgiven for Thranduil and his son, in an unsuccessful ending scene, that was empty of any convincing emotions, in an attempt to make a bridge to the Lord of The Rings series. This can even be forgiven for Thorin, the classic anti-hero who goes mad after barely a few days of being around his treasure, but realizes his true destiny just in time, only to die an honorable death, in order to obtain forgiveness for his 20-minute-earlier sins. But this can't be forgiven for the Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins is a supernumerary in his own movie. And that is inexcusable.

All fans of Tolkien will probably watch this. The feeling I'm left with, is gratefulness for the untouchable Lord of the Rings series. They can never be taken away. "The Hobbit" falls short right there where the Lord of the Rings is most powerful: loyalty to Tolkien. The trilogy did not fail because it grasped for Hollywood-greatness, it failed because Tolkien would watch it and say "What a fine movie! Where'd you get the idea?"
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