Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 5
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
What can I say? I absolutely loved it. It was even better than I had expected it to be. Having seen a number of less-than-enthusiastic reviews of it I was a little nervous going in - but after actually watching the film I couldn't disagree more with the issues they raised.
I felt the pacing of the film was excellent, much less frenetic than that of the Lord of the Rings films, which allowed for more natural and palatable exposition. The original content (based on the appendices) which padded out the story made perfect sense from a narrative stand-point, fleshing out what would have otherwise been a rather episodic journey and creating a very organic connection to the Rings films. The visuals were as stunning as one could expect from Weta - Goblin Town and the storm giants were especially spectacular, and the CGI characters were fantastically rendered. And, of course, the acting by all and sundry was nothing but stellar. Martin Freeman in particularly is the perfect Bilbo Baggins, and most of the time he doesn't even need to speak to achieve this - his expressions alone, his unspeaking reactions to the bizarre and unfamiliar, are enough to get the message across, and incidentally reduce the audience into fits of laughter. Not without the help of the script, of course, a lovely effort by Jackson and Co. to balance the more light-hearted atmosphere of the Hobbit with the more serious tone of the Lord of the Rings. The Great Goblin's final line, in particular, clangs with gallows humour, and I love it. My one minor gripe concerns the score - while as magnificent and as effective as ever, I felt there were very few musical themes that would stand out in the audience's memory, aside from the main leitmotif. Still, Howard Shore has again done a very good job - I was surprised and delighted, in particular, by a softer and more innocent rendition of the Isengard theme upon the appearance of Saruman. All in all, an excellent start to the new trilogy! I'm already anticipating 'The Desolation of Smaug' with bated breath!
Submit a Review