Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Hobbit Movies: A Long & Lousy Adaptation

With the release of DVD box set of the The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s stronghold on the Hobbit trilogy may finally be over. Undeniably, the trilogy has been incredibly successful on a US and worldwide stage. The three-film trilogy cost around US$765m to produce and made almost US$3 billion worldwide – so, a triumph for all those who had anything financial to gain from the franchise.

But despite this, it gained little attention. No mention on the award circuits. Not a very positive reception. The problem is, the films just aren’t very good. The Hobbit trilogy can be seen as one of the lowest points of the blockbuster culture and modern Hollywood film-making…

Watching The Hobbit is like a bad taxi ride in a new town. Instead of staying on the perfectly scenic direct route to your direction, your driver decides to take you up every side street just to show you the sights. Eventually you get so tired that you lose all interest in what attracted you to the town in the first place.

This is what can happen when you take a small novel and transform it into three overly long films…

What a disaster. Neither Tolkien’s family nor we can think of another film series that has adapted a well-known and beloved book in a less authentic and truthful way. There is hardly any resemblance left, except for some occasional names that readers might have heard before and that might resonate emotionally, only to certainly be destroyed in the next scene. The Hobbit not only fails as a cinematic achievement; it is also a lousy adaptation.

We can only hope that Peter Jackson’s epic failure might provide a blueprint to future directors as to how not to make a movie.

(From “The Hobbit box set released and finally, the Jackson saga is over” by Tom van Laer and Thorsten Hennig-Thurau in The Conversation.)