After all, as Gandalf himself said, ‚??All great stories deserve a little embellishment.‚??There may be little sense in adding to the controversy on this site over the film, but I figured it couldn't hurt to have my stance on the Hobbit known, either.
Honestly, I can say I was disappointed with the film. As a fan of Jackson's work and the source material, not to mention the LotR adaptations, I expected high quality entertainment from what was supposed to be a two-part film adaption. What I got was a film some are comparing to the Phantom Menace‚?¶ yeah, it was a touch disappointing. But then again, so was The Dark Knight Rises for surprisingly similar reasons. That being said, I can easily say this wasn't a terrible film, much like TDKR or TASM weren‚??t complete rubbish. Trolls will be trolls, so I hardly pay them any attention, but I feel like many people are knowingly thrusting their dislike of the fans and the hype onto the mythology itself, and just pointing out all of the negatives without mentioning any of the films positives. Meanwhile, hardcore fans aren‚??t doing their cause any favors by refusing to acknowledge the films glaring faults. So I decided to compromise and see both sides of the coin, after refrigerator logic kicked in.
First off, look at the facts, folks. This film has been riddled with mishaps and missteps from day one. Del Toro stepping off and leaving Jackson to take up the director‚??s chair, the troublesome union strike, the money grabbing move of making this a three-hundred page story into a trilogy, and numerous set accidents. Looking at all of that, I feel like we'd have to be idiots to expect something as wholesome and pure as Fellowship of the Rings was (which had relatively little trouble aside from being supposedly "un-adaptable"). The faults in the film are obvious for all to see: CGI overkill, a slower pace due to only having a hundred pages worth of material on screen, constant retreading (nostalgia factor be damned), and an abundance of needless gags and slapstick. These faults hindered what could have been a tighter paced, substantially mature, and more emotional adventure tale. That being said, it still wasn't terrible.
We received surprisingly acceptable scenes from the appendix's inserted into the story, top notch performances from the ensemble (with McKellen, Freeman, and Serkis serving as stand-outs), Jackson's unique vision of Erebor in its hay day, some incredible fight scenes, a good dose of useful humor, fun easter eggs, potent nostalgia from seeing Middle Earth on screen once more, and an overall pretty decent road-film.
If Jackson is smart, which I‚??d like to think he is, he‚??ll hear what fans and critics are saying and edit the following sequels accordingly. He‚??ll take out some of the unneeded slapstick or awkward humor, tighten up the CGI, throw in a little more from the appendixes (because as far as I can tell, non-fans enjoyed those bits the most), and simply let the story do the rest. This was the first and biggest hump of the trilogy, people. The first one hundred pages have little in terms of action or development (aside from the Riddles in the Dark), which explains why there were so many random action scenes, etc. Parts two and three are RIDDLED with unique characters, canon action pieces, and shouldn‚??t have half as much embellishments as this film did, and will thus include far less ‚??meh‚?? material.
Unlike TDKR and other disappointing blockbusters, the flaws in ‚??An Unexpected Journey‚?? were at least apparent and easily caught. Refrigerator logic has been in motion for 24 hours, and I‚??ve yet to spot more flaws than I saw in my initial viewing, though I‚??ve surprisingly acknowledged a few smart moves taken by the director that I hadn‚??t caught before. It‚??s clear Jackson sacrificed connecting with newcomers in lieu of appeasing the real Tolkien fans. He‚??s stated time and again that Middle Earth isn‚??t meant for awards. Would he like them? Obviously. But he‚??s always stood by pleasing fans of the book, as seeing as how 81% of audiences have given this film an average rating of 8.4 out of 10, I‚??d say he‚??s done his job pretty well so far. With touch-ups to the sequels, which will gradually get darker as the story matures, I can only see it getting better from here.