Sunday, 30 December 2012

Film Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

As I've just been to see the Hobbit, and seeing as everyone is going on about it as though it's single handedly going to save us all from the decline of Capitalism, such is the vastness of it's money making bosom, I suppose it merits a review.

So, here it is. Put quite simply, the whole thing could have been done in a third of the time if Gandalf stopped asking bloody short people to do the job of proper fully grown men! Look at it this way; at a guess I take one step to the average Hobbit's three, ergo rudimentary logic dictates that my pace is 3 times faster than that of stumpy. Probably more so when you consider that a flight of stairs is a negligible obstacle for the likes of you and me, where as half-pint and friends have to whip up a rope ladder to get anywhere near the top, and still need to allow for a 30 minute break on route. It was at roughly the half way point in The Hobbit that I realised that the whole thing is a little like one of those Channel 4 documentaries produced to raise awareness of the plight of people with an unusual genetic condition. Too small enough to be classified as a Dwarf? 35 years old and haven't graduated from the Children's clothing department? Don't worry, here's the Hobbit to let you know that little people can lead exciting (if barely noticeable) lives too!

Don't believe me? Fine, well here some more proof...

Here on the left we have Bilbo and some Dwarfs, getting ready to head out complete with loads of bags and some sticks. The latter presumably just incase they have to wade through a puddle without drowning or something. While on the right we have me, carrying EXACTLY the same amount of stuff (less stick, as I don't need to fear puddles), and a razor apparently, on my own!

Seriously, the whole quest could have been done by Gandalf and a couple of regular sized humans, and it would have taken significantly less time. Just make sure the party's made up of tree hugging hippy types so the Dwarf's gold doesn't get nicked at the other end, and it's job done.

It's the time though that makes one of the key parts of the movie. Or rather 3 movies. This short story has already been widely criticised (by the people that include it's own cast!) for being split over 3 films, and from what I saw, rightly so. The first hour of the Hobbit is basically unused footage from The Fellowship of the Ring (resulting in it getting so bogged down in it's efforts to point out that it's actually a prequel to LOTR that Peter Jackson might as well be sat next to you dishing out lessons is basic chronology), some dinner, and casual singing. As a result it goes pretty much nowhere in the process. Once we finally leave the Shire it's just a collection of loosely strung together battle scenes, culminating in a colossal plot hole that points out that they could have just been flown to their destination and saved everyone a whole lot of trouble. Christ, in the 'end' they actually get dropped off by some Eagles, look out over a valley, and go "oh look, that's where we're going, over there in the distance," and NOBODY has the nerve to point out that they could have just been fucking flown there on the back of the birds who just carried them across miles of forest mere minutes earlier! The only way I can see that they can pad it out enough to cover 3 films is going to be to spend the entire time constantly pointing out how hard it must be to be tiny. And believe me, 15 minutes after leaving the Shire, we fucking get it. Seriously, the whole thing plays out like some kind of 'social awareness' advert promoting equally opportunities for people who stopped growing after their 10th birthday.

So what can we learn from the Hobbit? Well, if you need someone to get at those hard to reach places under the shelves of supermarkets, get yourself a Hobbit. Need to go foraging around cracks in a cave? Hobbit. Want to move around barely noticeable to the rest of the world because you forgot to put a flashing light on your head when you left the house? Hobbit. For anything else, and anything useful, get someone tall enough to see over a hedge and the whole exercise will be complete in half the time.

Oh, and one last thing....

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