The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - character poster

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a pretty tough story to screw up. The book was written as a simple children's adventure tale told from a singular point of view, and that is what it is loved for. Peter Jackson doesn't seem to understand what he's trying to do with the film adaptation. The movie struggles just to figure out what it is trying to do and tries so hard to pad itself with irrelevant Tolkien lore that it eventually starts to fall apart cinematically.

Not content to simply tell the first-person (well, technically "second person") account of Bilbo Baggins' adventure to The Lonely Mountain and back again, this Hobbit film tries to incorporate other plot threads from the complex tapestry of Tolkien's extended Middle-Earth lore. This creates two problems:

  1. The story loses its narrative focus and suffers cinematically from poor pacing and confusing scene transitions,
  2. The movie's tone shifts wildly from light-hearted fantasy to overly-serious forebodence.

Colbert Report - Hobbit week interview with Martin Freeman

If only you hadn't been blinded by your fanboyism, Stephen; you could have warned us!

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