Mostly What I Expected: A Review of An Unexpected Journey
December 21, 2012
Few people going to see the first installment of the movie version of The Hobbit walk in without knowing what to expect. After all, we do have the track record of how Peter Jackson adapted The Lord of the Rings trilogy to the big screen. That said, I did try to experience the movie with “balanced” expectations; that is, I knew I would find differences from the book, but I would attempt to still enjoy the movie for what it was.
As someone who is many times more familiar with the work of C.S. Lewis than Tolkien’s, it was not too hard for me to miss all the changes Jackson made. I did go back and read the first six chapters (which is what is presented in the movie) to compare, but don’t expect me to attempt to point them out here.
My purely subjective way of judging the movie overall was to, 1.) See how I “felt” at the end of the movie…did I find the story uninteresting…did it keep my attention without have too much action; 2.) Ask my wife if she like it (as someone who hasn’t read the book and hasn’t seen the LOTR movies (we weren’t married then and I haven’t gotten around to it yet)); and 3.) Ask a friend who I knew was more detailed oriented and picky about movie adaptations of books.
What are my results? I didn’t find myself wanting to know what the time was as I watched the movie (so it was interesting). However, I did think the beginning part a little slow (where it was making the connection with the LOTR). Yet, the rest of the action scenes were “just right” for me. My wife, who is the type of person to not like the “old” Star Trek, but she did enjoy the recent reboot (oh, the things spouses have to tolerate!), did enjoy the movie. She was, however, much more annoyed by the slow beginning. The friend whom I respect highly, but has very different tastes than I, expressed to me that the movie was very good and an acceptable adaptation of the book…at least so far.
Much more could be said, but I’m sure you’ve likely seen other reviews online. In case you haven’t, below are some reviews from individuals I have personally met that will hopefully provide a more complete picture if you happen to want additional perspectives. As always, feel free to leave me a comment below.
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Links to other useful reviews:
- Review: The Hobbit, Part 1 by Dr. Donald Williams
- The Hobbit: My Review by Alan Jacobs
- Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit”: Embellishment is an Understatement by Sørina Higgins
- Showing Us Our Inconsistent Selves by Sørina Higgins