One of the great literary works of the 20th century – largely considered the forerunner of the entire fantasy genre – received its first live action screen adaptation this past week. And like most adaptations, it delighted some and left other diehard purists disappointed.
Stepping away from the strength of the adaptation, “The Hobbit” is still a fun movie and Martin Freeman easily slides into the hairy Hobbit-feet of the tiny adventurer drawn from his comfortable home into a world larger than he expected.
With the original work written before “The Lord of the Rings” and the movie created after the film series, there is a little bit of confusion and needless references back and forth.
Fans of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy will likely enjoy themselves with “The Hobbit.” While it doesn’t quite capture the same magic as the original trilogy, it does present all of the same building blocks that appealed to audiences the first time around.
The problems with the movie stem from some unnecessary additions from Tolkein’s other works and an attempt to add the high fantasy and adventure elements of “Lord of the Rings” to this earlier work – which has an innately simpler and gentler tone. From a literary perspective “The Hobbit” is a fairy tale and “Lord of the Rings” is high fantasy.
Jackson’s additions to the script work in some places, but they often serve simply to slow down the pace of the story and distract from the human story going on with dwarves and hobbits.
Like many, “The Hobbit” has a special place in my heart stemming from grade school-aged readings around the breakfast table. And while my personal preference is for the book, finally having a decent movie version of this childhood favorite adds a level of nostalgia to what is already a strong film.
Opening; “The Guilt Trip,” “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D,” “Jack Reacher” and “This is 40”
- Please do not stare at John Geddie’s strange hobbit feet.