So I’ve finally seen all three of the films in the new Peter Jackson series, and I thought I’d make a post about what I did and didn’t like.
In the first film, I liked that it had a more light-hearted feel to it than the Lord of the Rings films. The chases had me laughing and so did the Dwarves antics in Bilbo’s house. considering how much more light-hearted the Hobbit is to the Lord of the Rings in book form that sat well with me, but I noticed a lot of people who hadn’t read the books and were introduced to the series by the films were annoyed by those scenes and thought them unnecessary.
I didn’t like the new pale orc stuff as much nor the rock giants, but over all I enjoyed the film. I quickly realised it was a sort of in between feel to it. Less light-hearted and more over all world in it than the Hobbit book, but more light-hearted and focused than the previous films. I think this only led a lot of people to be disappointed. All the people who expected Lord of the Rings got more Hobbit than they wanted a vice-versa. As I didn’t mind either way I was very happy with the film. I think it blended the feel of the two together nicely.
The second film was probably the best, of the three. I liked the extra Necromancer stuff in here and what Gandalf got up to. I also really liked how they introduced Bard and the Smaug and Bilbo scenes were amazing. Some of the Legolas stuff wasn’t as good, but I liked what they did with his father and how they showed the differences between the two elvish races.
There was the odd bit I didn’t like so much, but very few parts of this film. I didn’t like where it finished, but I tried to think of a better place and really couldn’t. If the moved the end later to include more Smaug stuff it didn’t leave enough plot for the third film and if they moved the end sooner it would have needed to be a lot sooner or still be in the middle of the Smaug plot thread.
Finally, I think the third film is the weakest. This is the film that suffered the most from the Hobbit being so much shorter than Lord of the Rings. It had the conclusion to the Necromancer and Smaug near the beginning of the film and both of these would have served the film much better if they were either more complicated and didn’t start the film or just moved to the second film. Maybe the Smaug section could have been in film two and the Necromancer stuff in film three, but then Gandalf wouldn’t have been in film two very much at all (see, I told you I couldn’t find a better way to divide it). I’d have liked a longer resolution to the Necromancer plotline for sure. After adding in all the stuff Gandalg got up to it was very lacking on imagination and scope.
I liked the set up for the final battle and the way Bard handled himself, as well as the interplay between Thorin and Bilbo, and Legolas, Tauriel and Thranduil, especially concerning love and what happened to Legolas’ mother, but that was about it with the third film. I didn’t like Alfrid at all. I assumed he was in film three for the comedy value (like the chase scene in the Goblin lair and Barrel scene in the previous two films) but I didn’t find him funny at all. I did find Billy Connelly as Dain funny and Gandalf had the odd amusing line. The conclusion to the Pale Orc stuff was predictable but good enough.
Anything else I could complain about would have spoilers so I better stop there. I have a feeling the Hobbit films would improve on me if I could watch them in one go. There just isn’t as good a way to break them up as there was with the Lord of the Rings. I also want to see what’s included in the extended editions. If there’s more Necromancer it could improve the third film a lot. after that I want to watch all six extended movies in one go and see if it does what I think where the third Hobbit film sets up some of Lord of the Rings and creates a natural progression that weakens the third Hobbit if you treat the trilogies as stand alones.