COMPANY: The Asylum
RUNTIME: 86 mins
PLOT: When a village of Hobbits is attacked by dragon riding cannibals, the Hobbit Goben, his father, and sister must get a group of “Giants” to help them rescue their friends and family.
REVIEW: The Asylum is known for their mockbusters. So it’s no surprise that their latest has a slight play on Tolkien’s Middle Earth inhabitants, even though that’s not actually the case. Age of the Hobbits (Now known as Clash of the Empires) actually refers to a species of human that was actually discovered and dubbed Hobbits, admittedly initially inspired by the Halflings of Tolkien’s fiction novels. The situation we find ourselves is that Warner Bros. went on to sue The Asylum because of it and has thus forced not only a change of name to Clash of the Empires, but apparently a ban from release, postponing the release from 2012 to 2013, though luckily not before a few original copies under the Age of the Hobbits snuck out into the wild. I myself was actually able to find a copy of the movie on DVD at my local Wal-Mart and went on to purchase it for Jeffrey Long, the main boss of the B-Movie Shelf . But since I’m a collaborator of sorts for the site, he’s allowed me to watch Age of the Hobbits first and review it.
There’s really not much to say about the overall story of Age of the Hobbits...or Clash of the Empires, or whatever it's going by now. The story is pretty much straightforward and doesn't consist of anything more in-depth then what I described in the plot synopsis above. The main action starts a short way into the movie with the main village being ransacked, and the actual quest to save their family starts not soon after the village attack.
The acting is not the greatest, but that’s typical of The Asylum and really, of any B-Movie so that should be expected. The dialogue, as you can also expect, is not the best, but probably not the worst that I've seen from this company either - it had a few groan-inducing lines here and there, and certainly was a leading factor as to why the acting wasn't that great, but the rest of it was serviceable.
Likewise, some of the actual dialogue, if you look closely during some scenes, almost looked as if it could have been a bit dubbed over and that was a bit distracting at times as well. But that is really just a nitpick more then anything, especially once you get used to the overall acting in this movie.
The effects work is pretty decent however. Some spotty parts when you have the dragon creatures attacking and injuring the people, but there’s some definite decent work going on here and overall it was better then I was expecting from this movie. Something that’s a bit misleading though is the Dragons on the cover art don't look like the dragons in the actual movie. In the movie they look more like simple lizards or salamanders or something of that kind, but with wings, which is kind of misleading when you take into consideration how awesomely-designed the dragons on the DVD cover look like.
Another misleading aspect is that if you look at the DVD cover art and even the onscreen menus, there seems to be an implied epic battle scene of some sort. Well I can tell you that this is not really the case. Oh there’s a battle, which I won’t spoil much about here, but its not what you’d think and certainly not how it's advertised.
Still, I can’t say I regret this purchase nor this watch of the movie. It certainly has a nice adventure feel to it which is why I was interested in watching it to begin with, and it moved at a very nice pace, never once making me feel bored. For a one time watch, this was certainly serviceable, although probably nothing I'd ever watch again.
6/10 rooms in the Psych Ward