Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
I had avoided watching this movie for as long as I could because I knew I’d hate it, but my dad made me watch it with him. He’d fallen asleep the first three times he tried to watch it by himself, and with my help he managed to stay awake for an hour before he got bored and left to do his taxes. This is a 100% literal true story, and it really gives you a good idea of just how bad a film this really is.
Bilbo Baggins is a nervous little hobbit who just sits around smoking pot and drinking tea all day until a crazy old wizard decides he should go on an adventure with a crew of bloodthirsty dwarves to fight a dragon. On their journey they meet trolls, elves, goblins, and a creepy underground frog guy whom Bilbo steals a magic ring from. This film ends after they escape the goblins with the help of some giant eagles, which means it took them three hours to get to about page 115.
To help pad out the film enough where a trilogy could even conceivably be necessary, they borrow a lot of material briefly mentioned in Lord of the Rings (they don’t have the rights to the Silmarillion so there’s none of that in there, thank god) an expand on it. This means there’s a lot of extra shit in there with Radagast and the Necromancer and really none of it is interesting at all, much less related to the story. It’s not just the incredibly slow pace of the film which makes it an unpleasant viewing experience, of course. To match the tone of the LOTR movies, they turned a fun kid’s fairy tale into an overly-dramatic epic war film, changing the dwarves from a team of inept idiots to every one of them being the world’s greatest warriors (though they did include a line at the beginning mentioning that only two of them had ever even fought before). In situations where, in the book, Bilbo was forced to use his wits to get them all out of the situation, instead we get twenty minute fight scenes of slow-motion people yelling and CGI monsters flying everywhere. And it’s really too bad, because Martin Freeman is cast really well as Bilbo with his comedic background, but that in this epic, dramatic version of the Hobbit stands out like a sore thumb and completely takes you out of any moment they may be able to set up. So yeah, I really can’t wait for the next two.