December 17th, 2014

I don’t need any more trips to Middle Earth.  I have decided this.   As Monty Python would say it” ‘Tis a silly place”.

It’s silly because it is slow and meandering and takes forever to get from one place to another, like the books.    The books delve far too much into song and poetic prose, the movies linger aimlessly on get-togethers in the Shire and just having a pint or two.

The third, and mercifully last, installment of The Hobbit which comes out today, I saw Monday night courtesy of a free preview from me being a proud VW driver.   The movie was on them!

It is yet another long movie at 2.5 hours.   But it takes 2.5 hours to tell, and finish, what is a simple tale.    Add to this the already supplemented story so that this ties more directly into Lord of the Rings and it’s overwrought and tiresome.

The most interesting aspect of the story as I remember it was the dragon, and the battle with the dragon.   Here our dragon who prattled on incessantly in the second movie about how all knowing and all powerful he was nary stays for a spot of tea before being dispatched.    I trust I am ruining nothing to divulge that gem of the plot.    Best so since it’s over in the first 25 minutes.   Then we have endless squabbling and battles amongst the various “armies”.  From dwarves, and elves, and orcs and others.   All in enormous numbers.    Then they fight in massive battles shown at a distance with CGI.    Impressive CGI I suppose, but graphics that don’t carry any emotional weight for me.  It becomes a video game.    And then it’s remarkably silly.   Silly because itty bitty dwarves who ride pigs (yes pigs) are taking down scores of huge and ferocious orcs all dressed in heavy steel armour.   Some orcs are felled by someone throwing a stone at them.  Really?   Where did it hit them?   Then other elephant-sized creatures are taken down by an arrow or two as they fall backwards and crush those behind them.   This goes on and on.    It is ridiculous.    Add to this, Legolas (Orlando Bloom) running up a falling stone bridge to fight a battle, and the ridiculous becomes the hilarious.   One always needs to suspend the level of disbelief in fantasy movies, but there is a tipping point where it’s just too much.     I think it was Roger Ebert who wrote about certain CGI and how it didn’t work because the characters had no weight to them.   It might have been a superhero movie like Spiderman.      Again here, I lose the emotional attachment and grow weary of the sword play and little people (dwarves and hobbits) deciding the fate of so many.    There are swings in momentum, like a sporting event, reminiscent of Star Wars, but still I was shifting in my seat and had seen enough.

So I am thankful that I saw this for free.   I truly wish the free tickets were for The Imitation Game (Bennedict Cumberbatch voices the dragon, but the better film of his is where he acts).    But alas, it was not to be.   I saw this with a non-LOTR fan nor watcher of the earlier Hobbit films.   She was brave.  She sat through it, and I could sense and feel her waver in interest.    When the short story gets chunked into three pieces, there is much lost in terms of plot and moving forward.   She is a trooper and I will be happy to see other movies to her liking in repayment for her patience.     I cannot recommend this film.   I was thankful that it was over, and we can move away from Middle Earth finally.

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