I left the theater feeling quite mixed.
Jackson's visuals, as always, were amazing and very close to the visual world I created in my head while reading "The Hobbit."
However, for me, he missed the mark on the tone of the story. JRR's "Hobbit," I felt, is a much more light-hearted story, focused on Bilbo's inner journey as much as the outward quest of the dwarves to recover their birthright. As grave as that mission is, I feel that they are a much jollier group than portrayed in the film. Jackson dragged out the film unnecessarily with extra fight scenes, turning it into a much more violent story than I believe was Tolkein's intent. The kingdom of the goblins under the mountain was far overdone compared to its portrayal in the book, again skewing the focus away from nuance and towards overblown battles, which I suppose are considered to have more mass appeal for today's audiences. The Bilbo in the novel is far more bumbling in the beginning, bound to his creature comforts, and unwittingly whisked along on a journey he didn't ask for... Jackson portrayed this somewhat, but sacrificed deeper character development for large-scale effects. Part of what gets lost in the process is the shift in Bilbo as the story develops. Bilbo and Gandalf's whit in outsmarting the trolls, sadly, was mostly omitted, and the cleverness of the whole "riddle" exchange with Gollum was also robbed of its whit and central importance, flanked by two gratuitous fight scenes that stole the focus away from what should have been one of the most impressive and significant scenes of the entire film.
I guess it would be hard to capture the charm, nuance, and whit of a 1930s British novel in a 21st C film, but I did leave feeling disappointed by what had been lost in the translation of Tolkein's classic onto the screen.
That all being said, I can't wait for the next one to come out. I was still captivated by the visuals and look forward to taking in more.
Last edited by maude; 12-17-2012 at 10:18 PM..