The Lord Of The Rings And The Hobbit: Ranked From Worst To Best

7. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Silly title, a plethora of unmemorable characters, emergant reliance on CGI, all almost saved by one smart recasting - this is Middle-Earth€™s The Phantom Menace. There€™s a distinct confusion as to what The Hobbit is here. Is it an adaptation of the novel, a remake of The Fellowship Of The Ring or a prequel to the cinematic The Lord Of The Rings? The answer is that it tries to be all of these, yet ultimately fails to be any. Most of the issues are impossible to deny, particularly when compared to the originals, but the film€™s defenders found an easy get around - it€™s great to be back in Middle-Earth. Which is probably the most ill-judged praise of a movie in blockbuster history. Ignoring that this Middle-Earth - mostly soft-focused and realised through green-screen - feels different, the world Jackson created was just to tip of The Lord Of The Rings€™ successes. It€™s not a total trainwreck - when the shooting goes to the hills of New Zealand, Middle-Earth feels tangible and the Gollum scene really works - but when there€™s so little progression in almost three hours (the only character who develops is Thorin, and that€™s only going from hating Bilbo to not totally disliking him), it€™s easy to forget that. When the film proved noticeably less successful at the Oscars than Fellowship (compare thirteen nominations and seven wins with a lone nom), fans were keen to say it was going to be the long game, with the trilogy honoured with praise come the end. Yeah, that ain't how it's gonna go.
Contributor
Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.

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