32, Burnt Hills
Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
This review comes from a longtime, huge fan of the books, and also a big fan of the LOTR films. This world is nothing if not familiar. We go on essentially the same journey that we did in the Fellowship of the Ring, except it feels as if far less happens to the characters. We start with a prologue/back story that includes a battle scene. We meet Gandalf in the shire, we journey east with some misadventure along the way, and end up at Rivendell. Meanwhile, there's a few scenes which let us know there's some bad stuff too big for hobbits going on somewhere far away. That stuff occupies Gandalf for a while. We head off into the Misty Mountains and have trouble on the mountain pass. We end up in caves in the mountains, and a computer generated party of heroes barely makes it out alive. I've seen this movie before Peter Jackson. This, more than anything makes me wish we had gotten a different director.
Maybe the next ones will be better, but they completely failed to interest me in this film, because they didn't do anything different; at least not different enough. My favorite parts were the backstory on the lonely mountian and the unexpected party with the dwarves. You know, things I hadn't seen done better in Fellowship of the Ring. Escaping from the goblins was the worst kind of CG scene, where the characters and the camera move so quickly the entire scene is rendered unbelieveable. I didn't feel excited, I just felt "yep that's kind of impressive computing power they've got there, I wonder if there were any actors in this scene at all? As for the arc of characters in this film: there is none. They pay some lip service to "now Thorin respects Bilbo," but that on its own is not a satisfying journey for the conclusion to an entire movie. Maybe that would be OK for the first act. Maybe if Thorin had killed Azog, rather than simply escaped, there could have been some arc to the story. Overall, I just felt a big disappointment at this film. Technically, it is amazing. The emotion, however, is completely missing.
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