So, PH and I went to see the Hobbit the other night.
We went in knowing that we were going to be grumbly. We knew they would have to reverse engineer some things because Middle Earth changed significantly between The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings.
In order to make things match up with the LOTR world, they’d have to fix some inconsistencies – goblins instead of orcs, elves being more faerie-like than the archetypal Tolkien elves, etc.
Not to mention that The Hobbit makes me a little grumbly anyway, because what on Middle Earth was Gandalf doing helping these dwarves anyway? Thorin is a stupid, greedy little twerp who doesn’t really deserve that mountain any more than Smaug does. At least Smaug is clever (although apparently not clever enough to cover his bald spot).
And then Gandalf just goes “Oh, I’m going to go off and get rid of this Necromancer guy, you guys just hang out with the Wood Elves while I’m at it,” and disappears to have a battle with EFFING SAURON while we just watch the hobbit and dwarves go down a river in a barrels.
That being said, I enjoy The Hobbit as a book more so than The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, because it is much more concise and to-the-point without so much wandering off the point and rambling sentences about people’s great grandfathers.
So, I went in prepared to be amused and entertained without too much risk of being deeply offended.
And I’m not offended, but some of their choices make me go “wut?”
Some choices were good. They turned Thorin into an actually admirable character, which makes the whole Gandalf helping them thing much more rational. They also built up the whole Necromancer thing, which makes total sense.
Bilbo was fairly well done, if too slim.
They retrofitted the look of the elves to match the characters from LOTR which again makes sense, and brought in Galadriel just so that there would be at least ONE female in the entire movie.
But I really didn’t get some of their other choices.
Like the whole Pale Orc thing.
They took a single sentence from The Hobbit about a goblin named Azog and turned it into this whole blood feud thing.
This goblin killed Thorin’s grandfather, and the story is mentioned with more detail in the LOTR trilogy, but they changed all of those details anyway.
Instead they made up this tale about how Thorin avenged his grandfather’s death by chopping off the Pale Orc’s left hand, and somehow Thorin assumed that this had killed the dude. Then of course it is revealed that OMG! The orc is still alive and now he’s PISSED!
This big white orc has apparently come down from the mines of Moria (remember how much of a pain those were for Frodo and company to get to in the first LOTR movie?) just to hunt down Thorin. In the place of his left hand he now has this weird metal stick thing with branches that make it look like a snowman’s arm.
You won’t find a picture of it anywhere because it looks so ridiculous, so all photos of this character are either right profile shots or above the shoulder shots.
This was the only one I could find:
So anyway, Frosty The Snow Orc is now on the hunt for Thorin, the way Captain Hook wants to kill the crocodile.
This elaborate addition probably plumped the movie out by forty minutes or so, which I could understand if the movie was otherwise looking thin (after all, they are breaking a single book which was short by Tolkien standards into a freaking trilogy) but the movie is almost three hours long!
Cut out Frosty and you’ll still have a two hour movie!
WHY DOES FROSTY EXIST?
It doesn’t help that orcs have been ruined for Perfect Husband and me by JourneyQuest, because of scenes like this:
I defy you to watch that video and then watch orcs talking in The Hobbit without giggling to yourself.
We couldn’t do it.
The first time the orcs started having subtitled grunting conversations we started laughing, and discovered that we were both imagining them arguing over grammar.
So all in all, we got some good laughs out of The Hobbit.
Maybe just not in the places where we were supposed to.