The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
One Line Review:
Hopefully the beginning of a reverse Star Wars effect, this being New Hope and Fellowship Of The Ring being Phantom Menace.
Sir Ian McKellen
All cast, both returning and new were perfectly cast to suit their part, especially McKellen and Freeman. McKellen makes you love Gandalf all over again, and Freeman builds on a new look into Bilbo’s past.
Bilbo Baggins joins up with Gandalf and a group of Dwarves, who want to reclaim their home land, which was stolen by a dragon. The film is the first of a new Middle Earth trilogy and thus won’t conclude until 2014 (i think).
In case you didn’t know, I’ve never been a major fan of Lord Of The Rings. Never read any of the books,but I’ve seen the films multiple times (even done the 3 extended blu-rays back to back), and I’ve never really liked them. The Hobbit, however I liked. The film is way more family oriented than the previous trilogy, which in my eye, it succeeds more as a family movie than LOTR did as an action trilogy.
There several scenes in the film I really liked. The first is a scene where the group encounters a group of Trolls. Everything from the trolls themselves to the conclusion of the scene, I really enjoyed.
Another small part I enjoyed was Sylvester McCoy. Everything to do with this batty wizard was hilarious, from his bonkers mind to his Santa rabbit sleigh.
I also liked the character of The Goblin King/Lord. He might have been a villian, but his voice (i forget his name, but it’s the guy who did the shark in Finding Nemo) and his design I just liked.
I know the film is an adaptation of a much beloved book and this is only the first of three movies, however I don’t feel as connected to all 13 of the dwarvern characters. Thorin, his black bearded bodyguard and the older one with the white beard, are the only ones in this that really had anything substantial to do. The rest, despite somehow surviving the entire movie, only seem to tag along as cannon fodder and comedic relief (particularly the fat one with the ginger beard). You will notice that I don’t know any of their names, as they are given rather quickly at the beginning of the film and there are 13 to remember. Despite the almost 3 hour running time, by the end, I only knew Thorin’s name.
One of my major gripes with the LOTR movies (quick side note, I am reviewing the films not the books, if more is explained in the book then that needed to be in the film) are the convenient eagles that appear at the end of Return Of The King and to take Frodo home. If you have a secret Eagle army, why not use it to fly all the way there, in the first place. Well, guess who’s back in this film, yes the convenient eagles of convenience. Towards the end of the film (no spoilers) there is a tense moment, surely all is lost, nope enter the eagles to save the day and fly them half the way of their journey. Why not all the way? Why not summon them at the start to fly them?
The Gollum scene. Now no spoilers, but apart from telling us what we already knew from LOTR (that Bilbo got the ring from Gollum) the scene is long and the padding serves no purpose in my eye. Now the scene might be really good in the book, but in the film it felt long and drawn out for the sake of giving a recognisable character more screen time.
My bias cons aside, the film is definitely enjoyable. There is comedy, fantasy and action galore. Anyone who likes/loves the LOTR trilogy will find nothing but more pleasure from this. Anyone like me, will think it’s a good addition to the Middle Earth saga, but won’t fully bring you round.
Recommend: Everyone is bound to find something to enjoy in there somewhere, just some more than others, still definitely worth a watch.