Review: The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey

Review 2012 by RD Clark

Title

The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey

Written by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
From the story by J.R.R Tolkien

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy, and a bunch of actors playing dwarves, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett plus a bunch of actors playing goblins, etc.

Rated PG-13
Running time: 170 mins

A hobbit reluctantly joins a band of dwarves on a long journey to reclaim their homeland, which happens to contain large quantities of gold. And a dragon.

The good: This was a beautifully shot movie, filled with gorgeous scenery and peopled with interesting and diverse characters, some of them pretty scary. Freeman is perfect as Bilbo and of course, Ian McKellen IS Gandalf; there can be only one. The scene with Gollum was as chilling and tense as it was in the book and the underground city of the goblins was spectacular.

However: If you are hoping for a faithful rendering of the book, you will be disappointed. This is filled with side plots that were unnecessary, except to a producer that wanted to stretch it out to three movies. The bit with the trolls was weirdly different and the escape from the goblin city was just plain silly. And one of my big complaints is that half of the dwarves didn’t look dwarvish; just handsome leading men with beards, shortened by special effects.

I saw it in 3D with the 48 frames/second projection and most of the time, I wondered why they bothered. It just looked good, except that occasionally, it looked odd. The 3D was very well done and there were times I wanted to swat things away from around my head. I would recommend the 3D, but not the 48 FPS if it is going to cost you more.

I will give this a guarded recommendation, with the warnings above. There were no post-credit scenes so you can skip the 15 minutes or so and head out with confidence that I, your faithful pioneer, have cleared that path for you.

Flytrap rating: 7 /10

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One thought on “Review: The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey”

  1. I did not enjoy this film as much as I wanted to, or intended to, when I walked in to the theatre. I was a big fan of the LOTR films, and I was expecting something along the same lines.
    In hindsight, I should have known that this would not be the case. The Hobbit, the book, was a simple little story, with pleasant, simple, characters. It was, in my opinion, always more for the younger set, as opposed to LOTR. In that sense, the movie was dead-on. If I were 10 years old, it would have bee wonderful.
    As it is, it was cute, amusing, and soon forgotten.
    It could have been worse, but it did not inspire, for me, the same sense of wonder that the LOTR films did, and it seemed to be done with more of an eye towards action figures than otherwise.
    In summary: A nice way to kill an afternoon, but not something I would go out my way to watch again.

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