You know something’s seriously off in this opening salvo of Peter Jackson’s Super-Sized tri-part prequel to LOtR when you get giddy merely at spotting Gollum, that evil little pixie, crawling out from behind a rock. After three long hauls thru LOtR, who’da thunk his annoying calls of ‘Precious’ would sound so welcoming? To be fair, the film actually finds its footing two sequences earlier, when some rocky Mountain Monsters come to life. (Jackson seems to have finally figured out how he might have managed KING KONG/’05 . . . and does it in a neat eight minutes.) Presumably, Jackson had mentally moved on after three LOtR pics, and tried pretty hard to get someone else on this. No wonder, the first two acts feel dutiful & lifeless, with guest appearances from old team members like Cate Blanchett & Christopher Lee coming across with all the vivacity of a Royal visit to a Children’s Hospital. Wave. Smile. Move On. Maybe, the big improvement of the last act can be seen as an indication of better things to come. Hopefully, with a couple of gags that aim higher than Kiddie Pantomime . . . and fewer uplifting music cues.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Hollywood ECON-101: Topic: Milk That Cow:
HOBBIT the Book - one-fifth as long as LORD OF THE RINGS the Book.
HOBBIT the Movie Trilogy - estimated running-time to exceed LOtR the Movie Trilogy.