Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage,
Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt,
4 stars (out of 5)
I remember reading The Hobbit as a teenager and being
underwhelmed. It made so little impression on me that I had
forgotten that there was a dragon in it. So this review is not
from the viewpoint of a Tolkein purist or even of a person who
likes this sort of thing.
I went to The Hobbit (Rialto and Hoyts) expecting a visual
feast combined with an interminable pastiche of jolly hobbits
and comedic dwarves. I certainly got that - when the dwarves
burst into jolly comedic song I was ready to walk, except
that I had a job to do.
Fortunately for me, once we left Hobbiton and moved to the
more dangerous wilds of Central Otago things picked up. Peter
Jackson has injected the epic into a fun-with-dwarves
kiddies' book and while it is padded to satisfy the fans
there are more than enough of them to make it worth doing.
Is there enough cinematic trickery with 3-D and HFD (high
frame definition) to make those who held their noses over
Lord of the Rings change their minds? Probably not, though
the HFD does make the countryside sparkle and is worth
seeking out. I preferred The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings
movies but it is still a film for the fans rather than the
Best thing: There are some lovely performances (Ian
McKellen really knows how to squeeze every ounce of meaning
out of Gandalf) but what takes your breath away is the New
Worst thing: Well, it is a given that it goes on for
too long. I hated the swoony soundtrack. Plenty will adore it
but it gave me toothache.
See it with: Someone for whom the deluxe Lord of the
Rings director's cut with every missing scene was still not
By Christine Powley.