Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 1
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
After seeing the movie twice, I went back to reread The Hobbit so that I could better structure my opinions on the film as an adaptation and not a standalone film. As the latter, I found 'An Unexpected Journey' to be good. As an adaptation, I had some concerns.
The introduction of Azog as the main villain was an interesting choice, especially since he was technically killed by Dain in the battle at Moria. At first I was a little confused about the necessity of adding him, but it makes sense as a device to transition between the first film and the Battle of Five Armies; if the audience remembers him as a greater villain, it will make more sense if he rallies the goblins and attacks Erebor. I'm still not convinced, but I believe I understand. The acting was superb. I thought Martin Freeman to be a terrific Bilbo, and Richard Armitage really captured Thorin's character perfectly, especially for the material he was given. Each of the actors portraying the dwarves obviously put a great deal of time into developing their individual characters; I only wish we could have seen a little more of that. The many nods to the LOTR films were cute but not overly necessary, although I did enjoy the prologue (of sorts) with Bilbo and Frodo before the party. I'm a little curious to see how they deal with the Necromancer, especially considering the fact that he was a firmly established device even in the beginning of the book. (e.g. Gandalf found Thrain in the Necromancer's dungeon...) Overall, I enjoyed the film but remain a little reserved until I see what is yet to come.
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