December 15, 2012
Lighter, not as filling, but still tasty....
*** Pros: Excellent effects, workable adaptation, excellent character depth and complexity of performances.
*** Cons: Slightly bloated story, unnecessary introduction, poorly realized pacing.
The Hobbit (Pt. 1 of 3) is a decent start for the new trilogy, but lacks the gravitas or adept storytelling of the Lord of the Rings. Its first major misstep is the reintroduction of an older Bilbo and (visibly older) Frodo. This was an unfortunate choice, lacking the mystery or grandness of the original trilogy's introductions of black screen, ring motif, and Cate Blanchett's luscious narration.
It never really recovers from this, and the adaptation is hobbled by it throughout, especially with the bloated nature of the story additions (i.e., Radaghast and Azog). The over-reliance on CGI also hampered the movie (again, Azog). However, stunning performances by the principals (Serkis and Freeman) redeemed the movie to a greater degree. Here is hoping the next installment improves.
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