The Hobbit Trilogy: Is it a successful film adaptation?

This film truly takes you on an adventure. Source:
This film truly takes you on an adventure.

The Hobbit- few books can create such a sense of scale, a feeling of adventure and a grand journey into an entirely new world in under 300 pages like The Hobbit can.

After Peter Jackson’s successful Lord of the Rings trilogy a film adaption of The Hobbit seemed the logical next step. Jackson wanted to split the film into three separate movies, which would each be a fully fleshed out act of the book. This meant that it was necessary to adding new content, in order to stretch the 300 page novel into three movies lasting roughly two hours, while making it all interesting enough for the average viewer to sit through. According to some, Jackson succeeded with this venture.

While I personally feel like the second and third movies take a short and simple concept and drag it out, I still enjoyed the films. I did however catch myself thinking to myself numerous times, “How long is this?”

The first movie is about the main journey itself, the second about the confrontation with the dragon, and the third being the battle of the titular ‘Five Armies,’ (in reality only 4 and a half, but it doesn’t sound as cool.)

The main flaws appear to be the caused by Jackson’s desire to lengthen a relatively short novel into three movies. In the beginning of the first movie, what was a short, yet interested chapter in the book spills into the 45 minute mark, as the company of dwarves invade Bilbo Baggins’ home and convince Bilbo to join them. The scene seems to take far too long, something that seems to be continued throughout the rest of the movies.

I felt as if the whole second movie was just filler that took another short section of the book and stretched it too far.  I couldn’t help but feel like the entire second movie could have been condensed into a 20 minute string of scenes in a single or double feature film, rather than its own movie.

I held the same sentiments throughout the third film. There were excellent scenes throughout the movies, however, the attempt to drag out the plotline and add in extra material seemed to ruin the effect.

That’s not to say that I did not enjoy the films. The sets were beautifully crafted and interesting, the CGI is convincing and the story is captivating. I definitely wouldn’t say that The Hobbit is the Phantom Menace of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as some others have, but I wouldn’t nominate it for any serious awards either. I would recommend these movies for fans of the book, however, the average moviegoer may be bored by over drawn out plotline and excessive action.

-Jonathan Rose

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