It was about 45 minutes in and I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. This wasn't at a midnight showing, but in the afternoon, so that wasn't the reason. The reason was that what started off as fun and engaging turned in to slow and a little boring. (Spoiler Free)
The idea that a movie full of dwarves and elves and dragons and orcs and spiders and swords could be boring seems completely impossible. A movie with all of those things should be exciting! It should be one where you desperately try not to take a bathroom break because you know, just know, you're going to miss something amazing.
I read the book so long ago that the details had faded from my memory and I thought about reading it again before the film. I decided that I didn't want to read it, not until I'd seen at least the first movie, because I wanted to be a little surprised.
As scenes from the book played out in front of me I had those wonderful "Oh, yeah!" moments when I remembered pieces of the story that I'd completely forgotten. Those moments were great, but they were connected with long, meandering scenes that did nothing to advance the story or engage me as a viewer.
I know a lot of people like the vast, expansive world that Tolkien created and want to see every last detail of it rendered on the big screen. I am not one of those people. I appreciated the beauty and epic scale of the movie, but no matter how pretty it all is, in the end what I want is a story.
Part of the problem was that this very short book has been turned into three very long films. If you're not even telling a whole story beginning to end, and you've got nearly three hours of time to fill, there are going to be some slow spots. Unfortunately, there were just too many.
I loved the Dwarves. They were just as fun and goofy and oddly lovable as they were in the book. They were perfection. The first scenes where they meet Bilbo were the best parts of the whole film. I could watch those bits over and over, and just forget the rest.
I know, I know, there was some cool stuff in the book that, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you just can't imagine wouldn't be awesome to see in a movie. You're right. But that was part of the problem.
It was all awesome to see. It was pretty. It was sweeping. It was epic. It was grand and impressive and there were moments when the look of it all took your breath away. But what about the story? The story did not take my breath away.
It was drawn out, unnecessarily, to the point that not only did I miss nothing during my bathroom break, but even a brief nap had me waking up and wondering, "Is this over yet?"
Two more movies. Yes, I'll see them and I hope that I'll love them, but this first makes me think I might want to bring a pillow and a blanket, just in case.