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Thursday, January 10, 2013

393. My Beef with The Hobbit

I thought The Hobbit was an okay movie.  It had impressive special effects and beautiful scenery, to be sure.  Peter Jackson delivered on what Peter Jackson is great at delivering.  
But the script was pretty so-so.  In particular, I really take issue with one really irritating scene where Galdalf gives Bilbo a sword and tells him that "true courage is knowing when not to use it," or whatever.  It is suuuuuch an obvious attempt to be a "Movie Moment" (akin to "great power comes great responsibility") that they are soooo wanting you to quote for years and years. Except for that, in all reality, it has nothing to do with the theme of the movie, or Bilbo's personal character progression.  
Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who has been sitting around very happily living his nice little nonviolent Hobbit life.  He's probably never seen violence, and he's definitely never thought of engaging in any.  The idea of killing someone has never crossed Bilbo's mind.  And yet Galdalf thinks the message he needs to be told is "be brave enough not to kill anyone?"  Umm... don't worry Galdalf, Bilbo's got you covered. He doesn't plan to use that thing.

*Spoiler alert, by the way*
Then later he doesn't kill Golem, and I guess you're supposed to think that's because he learned his lesson?  Except that Bilbo never would have killed Golem in the first place, cuz Bilbo is just too nice of a guy and wouldn't do something like that.  Bilbo simply isn't a character that needs to learn how to not kill people... he already freaking knows THAT.


The only real transformative moment for Bilbo in the story is near the end, when he DOES act violently, attacking the Orcs and saving Thror's life.  And that moment, the real moment of progression for him as a character, is totally underplayed.  I mean, sure, they all say "Thanks, Bilbo" at the end.... but there is nothing in the story that thematically builds to that moment beforehand, and so the moment is lost of you as being WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN the biggest moment for his character in the whole movie.

Blah.  Anyway.  There's my unsolicited rant of the day.  

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