Bear in mind that I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan. I’m not wearing an Elvin cape around the neighborhood like one young woman I know, but near enough. I love that series and often re watch it. And yes, I’ve actually read all of the books.
So, imagine my excitement when I learned about the making of The Hobbit and the opportunity for another trek back to my beloved Middle Earth. I couldn’t wait to see it, although at some level I wondered how the film could possibly compare with ‘The Rings’ trilogy. After all, this initial story was overlooked in making the original series, presumably because it wasn’t considered meaty enough, so that caused me to question how Peter Jackson could create an epic trilogy out of this first, simpler tale. And then characters disappeared from some of my favorite British TV shows, getting killed off so they could be in The Hobbit. I comforted myself by saying, ‘They’ve gone to a better place. Middle Earth.”
As always, I loved being back in The Shire. Some scenes in The Hobbit are visually spectacular and it’s amazing how the movie was filmed, but I didn’t connect with the characters as I did in The Rings trilogy. The Hobbit isn’t nearly as engaging. I grew more attached to Bilbo by the end of the movie, and Martin Freeman gave an excellent portrayal of the likable mild-mannered hobbit, but my emotions were lukewarm compared to the surge of affection I feel for Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin. And oh, man, did I miss Aragorn, Legalos, Arwin, Gimli, even Boromir…At least we still had the incomparable Gandalf. And seeing him again was great.
Richard Armitage is outstanding as the Dwarf Lord Thorin Oakenshield, but I’m not attached to him. I miss the old gang. This fellowship lacks that wonderful sense of camaraderie in The Fellowship of the Ring. I’m not even sure who all the dwarfs are, and would only have winced slightly had most of them fallen off the side of the mountain that came violently to life in a most unlikely manner, with the exception of the young dwarf, Kili (played by Aiden Turner, whose death I grieved on the UK’s Being Human and haven’t watched it since). I wearied of endlessly fighting orks, trolls, wargs… Nor was I entirely clear as to the plot. In TLOTR, we soon discovered what must be done to save Middle Earth and especially The Shire.
Yes, I will see the entire series of The Hobbit, though not imbued with the same enthusiasm I entered the theater with today. Yes, “Rings” fans should see The Hobbit. It’s worth viewing and you may feel differently. I, however, am kind of disappointed. And did I mention this is my only big movie outing of the year?