I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan.
In fact, I can safely say there is no bigger, more Hobbit-like, more intimately familiar with the material, more enthusiastic fan out there. I can quote anything from the first three movies lock, stock, and quote-smoking barrel.
All of which means I was very excited to see The Hobbit.
So imagine my disappointment at what a confusing mish-mash of gibberish the movie turned out to be.
And I’m not talking about all the Elvish being spoken.
First off, what the heck is up with the ending? They didn’t even get to the gold. And why bother showing us that dragon, Smog, if they’re never gonna interact with it? Bilbo Jr. is all, “I think the worst is behind us, the end.”
Ultimately, the movie raised more questions than it answered, which I found extremely frustrating:
Where the hell did the ring come from?
It’s been a while since I saw the Return of the King, but I’m pretty sure that thing got melted in the volcano lava. Along with Gollum.
Which brings up another question.
Why is Gollum in this movie?
He died at the end of Lord of the Rings, didn’t he? Or is he fire-proof, and swam away with the ring? I admit, there is some ambiguity there. But then if that was the case, Sauron would still be around, right? And his giant eye was nowhere to be seen in The Hobbit.
So I’m led to conclude that Gollum’s twin brother, Seagull, died at the end of Return of the King. But Peter Jackson could have made that clear, rather than forcing the viewers to guess that for themselves.
None of which explains where the ring came from.
Who in Sauron’s Inferno was the old guy at the start of the movie who was also named Bilbo?
Bilbo Baggins Senior? If that’s the case (and I’m not 100% certain it is), then why not call Martin Freeman’s Bilbo by a different name? Or possibly ‘Junior’?
Which brings to mind another issue I have, not just with this movie, but all the other fans of the series as well:
What is this refusal to acknowledge R. Tolkien Jr. properly?
Everywhere I look, people move the ‘Jr.’ to the front of his name, like this: J. R. R. Tolkien.
At first I thought this was some sort of Britishism, but I did extensive research on Wikipedia and could find no other examples. Did R. Tolkien Jr. have some sort of complex about being named after his father and as a result adopted this odd nom de plume?
I tell you, not knowing a rational explanation for this drives me crazy.
Other minor quibbles:
Frodo still has his finger.
I may not have been wearing my glasses when I saw Return of the King, but I’m pretty sure Seagull bit it off. And I know he has that finger now because I was wearing my glasses when I watched The Hobbit.
I can only assume Gandalf used magic to grow it back. Would it have killed Peter Jackson to include that scene in the movie? Talk about lazy filmmaking!
Speaking of Gandalf, what happened to his white robe?
Why is it grey again? Did he have an accident at the laundromat, and if so, why not show us that too? Frankly, I’m quite keen to see what a Middle Earth laundromat looks like.
Why was Gandalf talking to Saruman in the middle of this movie?
Hello! I thought Gandalf was this great and all-powerful wizard, yet he forgot that Saruman is a bad guy? Huh??
Too many damn beards.
I couldn’t tell the characters apart through the thick forest of facial hair. What, no razors in Middle Earth? Then why are the Hobbits so clean-shaven, huh? Huh?
Check and mate, Mr. Jackson. Check and mate.
Now before I threw these questions up on my blog and risked looking like a complete idiot, I ran them past a few acquaintances I’ve met via social media, to see if there was an obvious answer I had somehow overlooked.
The least-laughable solution they could come up with was the silly notion that if you assume The Hobbit is a prequel rather than a sequel, all of my questions answer themselves.
My response to that is, “Poppycock! Why make the first part of the story last? That makes no sense!”
I was hoping the novelization would do a better job addressing these questions, but I’m a quarter of the way through and so far it has even less stuff going on it in than the movie!
I will give credit where credit is due, however. It was a nice touch having the Doctor’s 7th incarnation be Radagast the Brown. I’d love to see how #7 got from there to the horrible, awful television movie.
Actually, if they make a sequel to The Hobbit, it would be really cool to see the Doctor help out.
Because he totally could.
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