Went to see part one of The Hobbit today. I was pretty surprised to hear they’d made it into three films, given the book is really quite thin, and I think my surprise was justified.
The Hobbit was as well done as the Lord of the Rings trilogy was – there’s just as much attention to detail. It’s a very high quality film, and I liked the cast. I was especially pleased to see ex-MI5 officer Lucas North has started a new life in disguise as Thorin Oakenshield. But blimey, it’s too long. Way way too long at 169 minutes for the first part of the trilogy.
There are significant departures from the book and the film doesn’t benefit from them at all. There’s a long, boring and unnecessary scene where Gandalf, Elrond, Saruman and Galadriel are talking about a sword Radagast found in the necromancer’s house, which they decide used to belong to the witchking of Angmar. None of that is in the book and it really didn’t need to be in the film. There’s a lot of Thorin being hunted by an orc riding a warg which doesn’t need to be there. There’s some unnecessary stuff with Radagast. And there was some other completely unnecessary stuff which I have now forgotten, it was so unnecessary. Oh yes, the bit with the dwarves & Bilbo trying to cross the mountains but getting caught up in a storm with the mountain giants hurling rocks at each other. It was an exciting, well-done scene, but it really didn’t need to be there. It didn’t advance the story, it just took up time.
It’s bloated, it’s too long, it has way too many scenes which were not in the book, don’t move the story forward at all and it spoils the film. It’s a good film, but it could have been great.