Movie Review by Jack Silbert
And so we return to Middle Earth, back to an ancient time when Liv Tyler was still famous. I had been genuinely looking forward to The Hobbit until about two and a half weeks ago. That’s when my friend Alex explained that this was not only an approximately three-hour film, but just the first installment in another trilogy. Wait wait wait, wasn’t The Hobbit always Tolkien for beginners? A simpler tale? Was I ready to devote another sizeable chunk of my life to these small people with swords in a magical land?
|Ian McKellen as Gandalf|
|Andy Serkis as Gollum|
|Martin Freeman (left) as Bilbo|
In further avoidance of spoilers, I won’t mention the various characters and actors who reappear from the original trilogy. But suffice to say, it felt really great to see them again, like a homecoming, and it connects the two trilogies nicely.
|Hugo Weaving as Elrond|
If there is a slower section of the film, it’s in the beginning. But I think it’s important for kids to meet and get accustomed to the different characters and also get a real sense of the comfortable home life that Bilbo is giving up. His unexpected heroism on this unexpected journey should be what ultimately resonates with young viewers. At one point, Gandalf is asked why on (middle) earth he’s brought Bilbo along. The wizard explains that though some believe that power is what’s needed, he disagrees. It’s the simple things and everyday acts of kindness that have any chance of keeping evil at bay. We’ve never needed that lesson more than we do right now.