Diehard Lord Of The Rings fan Peter Byrne shares his thoughts on Peter Jackson’s first instalment in The Hobbit trilogy.
By now, most of you have probably seen, or thought about going to see The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s latest J. R. R. Tolkien blockbuster and a prequel to the monstrously successful Lord of the Ring’s trilogy.
Despite The Hobbit weighing in at around 300 pages in novel form, Jackson has chosen to split the film adaptation into a trilogy. Critics have suggested that this is merely to bump-up profits as, arguably there simply isn’t enough action in The Hobbit to drag it out into three instalments. However, the plan is apparently to simply provide more back-story for LOTR (i.e. a lot of sweeping landscape shots and overly long battle sequences with a Celt-y soundtrack); why Jackson chose to work on The Hobbit, in that case, *after* LOTR is anyone’s guess.
Anyway. The first Hobbit begins as a relatively fun-filled ‘romp’, with Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins being plucked from obscurity to star in an adventure alongside Gandalf the wiz and his merry band of, er, dwarves. As the film progresses, the plot gets steadily darker, with the gloom and terror of Tolkien’s book coming vividly to life. Mountainsides fight, dragons rage and Sebastian the hedgehog is very nearly killed (yes, really).
Light relief is provided in the form of Bilbo’s scenes with Gollum, the underground-dwelling loon – played brilliantly by Andy Serkis – who is looking after ‘his precious’ and splitting time between his relatively mild self and the dark, deranged alter-ego that controls him.
The film is enjoyable although LOTR fans might feel a little baffled by the new CGI orcs, goblins, et al. They look incredibly poor compared to the original creatures that originally charged on to our screens in 2001’s The Fellowship Of The Ring. And psst: all the hooplah about it being filmed in 48 fps (frames per second, duh) is easily avoided by seeing it in 2d. Those plastic glasses are lame anyway.
In cinemas now