I love the Lord of the Rings, the books and the movies. I’ve read and viewed them repeatedly.
And I want to love The Hobbit movies too. But instead I’m preparing to be disappointed.
I read The Lord of the Rings the first time before reading The Hobbit. Honestly, I was disappointed by The Hobbit. There is a depth and texture to the The Lord of the Rings that is mostly missing from The Hobbit. I remember thinking that Tolkien must have matured significantly before writing The Lord of the Rings. Only recently I read that Tolkien intentionally shifted his voice after writing The Hobbit, because readers thought it was a children’s book.
Why, then, does it make sense to stretch The Hobbit out into three movies? The more compelling books were rendered to the screen one for one—one movie per book. Now, the least compelling book is being rendered to the screen three for one. It might make financial sense, but I think this is a much bigger risk than shooting all three Lord of the Rings films at once.
The Lord of the Rings was a literary masterpiece first, and then a cinematic masterpiece. The Hobbit was written by a master, but it was not his masterpiece. And I’m not convinced that you can create one cinematic masterpiece from it, much less three.
I hope I’m wrong. I have no doubt that Peter Jackson has created a visually interesting world. And that Ian McKellan will again play a brilliant Gandalf. I just don’t think the narrative is strong enough to live up to the expectation created by The Lord of the Rings.
Having suitably adjusted my expectations, I can go now and enjoy the film for what it is.
And I’ve given Peter Jackson the opportunity to exceed my expectations.
Are you looking forward to seeing The Hobbit? What are your expectations?