“The Hobbit”: An Overview

Over the last three years, “The Hobbit” has dominated the box office upon its arrival. But does it really live up to the book it was based on?

Addy Bennett, Editor of Student Opinion and Features and Extras

I can’t claim to be a longtime fan of J.R.R Tolkien’s works. In reality, I saw “The Lord of the Rings” movies before I ever thought of reading the book. But when I did get around to the reading, it was easy to confirm that the series was absolutely incredible. Both the books and the movies were deep, introspective, and reflected personal conflict to such a glorious extreme. And I fell in love.

Then I read “The Hobbit.” And I fell so much more in love. Ah, “The Hobbit.” How I adore thee! How I appreciate your seemingly innocent storyline and natural characterization! How I love the lavish world-building!

And then the first of “The Hobbit” movies was beginning to be advertised, and I was super excited. After “Lord of the Rings,” how could Peter Jackson do wrong?

I was so innocent back then…

I’ll be honest, I thought that the first movie was great. It had so far retained most of the tameness of the book (which, mind you, was written for children), but sadly, not too much of the humor.

Oh, wait, no. I was disappointed that they first of all split this short read into three movies, and second, created a completely unnecessary villain (a.k.a the Pale Orc or Azog the Defiler). And Azog the Defiler lived up to his name. He defiled the movies with his utter pointlessness, that’s for sure. I mean, c’mon Peter Jackson! You know better than to step over the line with a bad subplot! Or I thought you did, anyway.

And they couldn’t have used an actor to portray him? In The “Lord of the Rings,” the orcs were people in makeup and costumes, not CGI. Couldn’t they have used Andy Serkis at least, or something, anything, to give it a dash of realisticness? That’s another thing about this movie. The filter, the overused CGI, something was off-putting. Something made it seem false.

What about Tauriel, too? Since I’m a sucker for romance, I suppose it was okay that she was there, but she had a washout of an ending. Like, really lame. We don’t at all know what happened to her. Did she die? Did she go to the Grey Havens in later years? Did Thranduil retract the banishment he had punished her to? Ugh.

Also, why was Legolas so important? He was never even mentioned in the books. Not once! And he served very little purpose.

I don’t know.

It’s kinda the same thing with Radagast the Brown, but it was somehow a lot more acceptable with him. He provided good comic relief, I think, and I also liked seeing him provide some story movement. Also his rabbit sleigh. I want a rabbit sleigh.

Now, I have absolutely no complaints about Bilbo because he is a precious baby and Martin Freeman nails him down so darn perfectly. I was completely entranced by his performance. He created all these little quirks in Bilbo, namely twitching his nose and fiddling with his fingers, that added another level of realism.

Richard Armitage, who played Thorin, was also very in character, so much that it became painful to watch his greed overtake him. I admit, I was a fan of his as soon as I watched “North and South” (man, that was a good series!) and to see him take on such an in-depth role was pretty great. He has that perfect amount of intensity that complements his fellow dwarves and the story itself.

So we had high points (like the Smaug scenes) and we had low points (like everything with Azog), but it was still a great trilogy. Mostly, I think the movies forced it into a much more intense and lengthy storyline that didn’t match with Tolkien’s original tone.