After nearly a decade, the journey continues, or in this case begins, as Peter Jackson returns with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
It was 2001 when the first film in the Jackson’s Academy Award-Winning “Lord of the Rings” series debuted. The trilogy is not only a cinematic masterpiece in fantasy fiction, but in film, period. It’s a shining example of a director truly passionate about this work. So, anything following would be nearly impossible to match in glory.
However, Jackson manages to deliver a decent movie, but as expected, fails to capture the magic of the first films.
Much like the first films, Hobbit also nearly runs for three hours, no doubt an extended edition will follow. But this time around, it felt like three hours.
Much of the first half of the film really just reintroduces us to the LOTR world and the original trilogy, including brief appearances from many of the original cast. This only slows down the pace of the film, and keeps audiences waiting for any bit of action to occur.
This problem stems from the fact that Hobbit is only the beginning in a new trilogy. That’s right; J.R.R. Tolkien’s shortest book in the series is being turned into three films.
I couldn’t help but groan when I first learned this. This is your typical example of a successful trilogy trying to rake in more money for Hollywood executives. Although I have a feeling that LOTR fans will stay a little more loyal to this second trilogy than Star Wars fans. At least there was no Jar Jar Binks equivalent annoying me throughout the film.
What did annoy me was the 48 frames per second frame rate. It didn’t make me feel motion sick like some reports say, but it did pull me out of the film.
It was distracting from start to finish, looking like one of those high refresh rate televisions, where everything looks layered and superimposed on top of each other. It was especially irritating when the film finally picked up with its fight sequences.
As our heroes face some vicious orcs, the scenes looked overly computer generated, as if the film was replaced with someone’s World of Warcraft game.
I might have enjoyed Hobbit a bit more if it wasn’t for that major flaw.
Regardless, it’s another 120 minutes of short people walking a lot, before we see any action in the second half of the film with no real payoff — unless you consider waiting for two more films a payoff.