To tell you the truth, I wanted to see the Hobbbit, but I was not DYING to see the Hobbit. As part of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie series, it was going to be well done, I had no doubt about that.
It's just that - and this is blasphemy to all Tolkein fans, and even to someone like myself who claims to like Fantasy - I have never been a fan of the the Tolkein Series.
Perhaps its because I read it when I was 11 or 12. Maybe too young to appreciate the story. Perhaps the language was too advanced for me. I read David Eddings at that same age and thoroughly enjoyed it.
So as part of the Boxing Day tradition, my sister and her husband, my hubby and I, my dad and my aunt, all went to watch a movie - and The Hobbit was released in Australia on Boxing Day.
To paraphrase Galadriel's words:
"And then something happened that
the Ring I did not expect."
I not only enjoyed the Hobbit. I LOVED it. It was better than I had expected. It was more exciting that I had hoped. It moved me in so many parts - and it reminded me, which I did already know, but had forgotten, why Tolkein was hailed as the creator of modern Fantasy to this day.
If you look at World of Warcraft, and many other fantasy stories, it's as if what was written by Tolkein has become the truth, or rather the lore upon which many other fantasy stories are based. But I will write about that elsewhere. I am going to talk about the movie.
*** WARNING SPOILERS! ***
It starts with older Bilbo (Lord of the Rings age) starting his tale "There and Back again". There is an appearance by Frodo and it launches into how Bilbo landed into his grand adventure.
The background of Erebor, one of the great Dwarven cities, and how it was taken by a dragon which drove out the dwarves, leaving them homeless and wandering the lands, starts us off. The tale of attempts to reclaim Moria against a white orc, Azog, who slew Thror, of the line of Durin, was told, and how Thorin, son of Thror defeated him in battle by cutting off his hand (hmm sounds like Isildur and Sauron).
Gandalf, who knew Bilbo from a young age, dragged Bilbo into a quest by the Dwarves to reclaim Erebor. They descended unwanted into his house, disturbing his happy life of home, comfort and good food, and talked of their plans to retake Erebor, for there were signs to say that it was time, and Gandalf has a map that will lead them to Erebor (but needs some help translating it). Bilbo reluctantly goes, and they encounter many things during their quest.
The encounter with the trolls was amusing. After the trolls captured them all and were about to eat them, Bilbo stalled them long enough for Gandalf to arrive and the sun fell upon them and turned them to stone. Raiding the Troll's stash, they find some Elven weapons, with glorious names such as Orcrist (Goblin Cleaver) and Glamdring (Foe-hammer), which are taken up by Thorin and Gandalf. Then, they are beseiged by orcs and wargs, who are minions of Azog, and they manage to escape after encountering the Brown Wizard, Radagast, who is an odd Wizard, who associates with animals and the like. Radagast tells them of a necromancer who is weaving evil things in an abandoned fortress, and gives Gandalf a Morgul blade, as proof of his story.
The adventurers escape into a cave as the orc descend upon them, but an Elvish patrol appears and slaughters the orc company. The dwarf company head down the cave/crevice and come to Rivendell, much to Thorin's disgust (he hates Elves, for their reluctance to help the Dwarves in their times of need). Elrond assists them by reading the map, telling them they must open the secret entrance to Erebor at a certain time - and that time is fast approaching. The Dwarves decide they must go, and go soon, if they wish to keep going with this mission.
Gandalf is summoned to see Galadriel and Saruman with Elrond, who are anxious to learn the necessity or the wisdom in this quest. When Gandalf speaks of the necromancer, Saruman dismisses him, but Galadriel speaks privately to Gandalf saying it is of great importance.
As they make their way up the mountains without Gandalf, the orcs again start their pursuit. However, the dwarves have more pressing problems - rock giants fighting in the mountains as they traverse it, leading to some CGI fun and action/tension. They escape into a cave, and Thorin proclaims loudly how useless Bilbo is. Bilbo decides to sneak out and go home while the others sleep, but then they are captured by The Great Goblin, a huge fat diseased looking Goblin who proclaims he is going to send Thorin's head to Azog. Bilbo manages to escape them, but falls and encounters Gollum, who drops the ring and it is found by Bilbo.
The riddle game is played out quite well, and Gollum's expressions are classic. Bilbo manages to escape Gollum (by wearing the ring) and spares Gollum's life when given the opportunity to take it, and rejoins the Dwarf company who are liberated by Gandalf and an action packed pursuit through the caves of the Misty Mountains occurs, which takes up a lot of time.
Gandalf realises when they emerge from the mountains that Bilbo is missing, and Thorin states that the useless hobbit has run off home. Bilbo hears this and removes the ring and when asked why he returned, he said that yes, he did want to go to his home, but the Dwarves have no home to go to, and he wishes to help them get their home back. Thorin is still dismissive but the other Dwarves warm to him, and Gandalf looks pleased.
However, Azog and his orcs catch up to them and taunts Thorin, leading the angered Dwarf to fight Azog. Azog injures Thorin, and as they are about to take his head, Bilbo leaps to Thorin's aid, his courage inspiring everyone else who to join in the battle. As hope seems lost, Gandalf's friends, the large eagles, come and fight against the orcs, and rescue the besieged Dwarves, carrying the company to safety.
Thorin's heart is turned around by Bilbo's courage, and that moment brought a big smile to my face. Bilbo, so small, an ordinary, quiet loving Hobbit, shows how heroic even the smallest can be with his courage and bravery. It was inspiring.
And that was the end of the movie. Sigh, another year to wait for the sequel! It was a magnificent movie - a lot of action was added in which dragged the movie out, but I thought that it helped draw in a larger audience. The CGI was excellent, except the Wargs who still looked a little fake and robotic to me. The action was a little unbelievable, with nobody getting hurt but hundreds of goblins/orcs being injured. Another thing interesting was that some Dwarves could be hideous looking whilst others looked almost human - as in no enhanced brow ridges, noses or huge bushy beards. They were almost handsome. Thorin was, I hate to admit it, attractive, as well as Kili and his brother Fili (who are nephews of Thorin, so maybe good looks go in that lineage).
So what are you waiting for? Go watch it already!!!