I, along with a thousands of other nerds around the world, have been looking forward to this movie for months. I actually have a copy of the cartoon version made in the 70’s, and I watched it with my wife in preparation for Peter Jackson’s blockbuster. It was a fun romp through memory lane and a great refresher on the story.
And then I went to the theater.
I won’t beat around the bush here. I thought the movie was great, but there were several things that made it less than a stellar experience for me.
First, it was almost three hours long. I expected it, because, you know, it’s Peter Jackson. He doesn’t do short movies. I’ve got the special edition Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD, and I know that every one of them runs three to four hours long. But the old cartoon version was only an hour and sixteen minutes. That’s a big difference.
Second, there were a lot of scenes and exposition in the movie that I didn’t expect and, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if they were ever in the original book. I would have to re-read the story to make sure, but I’m fairly certain that, at the very least, Frodo never makes an appearance in Tolkien’s original. Don’t get me wrong. I liked the new information, and it helped me understand the characters and history more than I did before. I just didn’t expect it, and it threw me for a loop.
And finally, it ended too soon. That’s kind of a strange thing to say after complaining about how long it was, but it’s true. I had no idea that Jackson had decided to make this into not one, not two, but THREE movies. So when the end credits came up I just sat there in shock. Like I said, the cartoon covered the entire story in about an hour and a quarter, and Jackson took more than twice that length of time to get through less than half of the book. WTF?
I really wanted to see Smaug in IMAX 3D, and I was denied. And now I have to wait another year for the next movie, and a year after that for the finale. I don’t even know if we’re going to get through this Friday (Mayan apocalypse, remember?), so finding out that I’m going to have to suffer through another two years before I can complete my Tolkien movie collection is pretty upsetting.
To sum up, the movie was awesome, but I walked out disappointed that it wasn’t complete.
And that’s my review. If we make it past Friday I’ll post something else. Otherwise, see you all on the other side!