The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Review

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Finally, sorry if my movie review is quite late but anyhow, I would like to thank Circuit magazine for giving me the awesome privilege of watching one of the most anticipated movie of 2012. 

I'm a big fan of Lord of the Rings series and I must say I am also curious about this movie.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first installment in Peter Jackson’s new Middle-earth trilogy – once again based on the beloved fantasy world created by author J.R.R. Tolkien. After director Guillermo del Toro left the project, Jackson returned to the director’s chair and expanded the would-be film series – originally conceived as a two-part adaptation of The Hobbit story line – into a full-on Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy.

An Unexpected Journey does not match the scale established in Lord of the Rings, but there are still plenty of eye-popping visuals, enchanting action set-pieces, and intriguing character cameos, to prevent the film from being the underwhelming (and cheesy) experience that some skeptics were anticipating. In fact, the more intimate story line, centered around reluctant/adventure-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), his thirteen dwarf companions, and the renowned Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), often outshines similar plot beats from The Fellowship of the Ring.

Although I got a little bored with some parts and I almost doze off, I still find the movie entertaining. I hope the next installment will be more jam packed with visual effects and interesting characters. I actually missed watching Ian McKellen, mistaking Gandalf as Dumbledore LOL :D

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a pre-Lord of the Rings Bilbo Baggins has abandoned his thirst for adventure in favor of a safe and comfortable life in The Shire. For years, Bilbo has preferred the quiet of Bag End, his Hobbit-hole, a well-stocked pantry, and the warmth of his fireplace to the beauty and terrors of the lands beyond his home – until Gandalf the Grey knocks on his door.

The wizard invites the hobbit on a quest to help a band of dwarves retake their homeland, The Lonely Mountain, from a ruthless and dangerous dragon, Smaug. Unwilling to resist the chance for adventure, Bilbo agrees to accompany the group, which is led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), heir to the King Under the Mountain crown. The company faces challenge after challenge, and – even the wise Gandalf – bears first witness to a dangerous sequence of events that will haunt the next generation of hobbits, dwarfs, elves, and men.

Unsurprisingly, there are several similarities between An Unexpected Journey and The Fellowship of the Ring, most notably the core premise (a ragtag group of heroes on a life-or-death quest through the wilds of Middle-earth); however, Jackson’s latest installment is differentiated by a number of smart filmmaking choices and solid character dynamics that were present in the Tolkien source material – especially the multifaceted Bilbo Baggins.

In the long run, The Hobbit prequels could be weakened by Jackson’s expanded three film plan, but if Part 2 and Part 3 are as enjoyable as An Unexpected Journey, it’ll be hard for moviegoers to complain. The film includes everything that made the original Lord of the Rings trilogy so memorable – action-adventure, charm, humor, and breath-taking fantasy battles. Sure, a few extemporaneous Lord of the Rings elements slow things down and distract from the core Hobbit story line, but overall, the director has once again presented audiences with a captivating and exciting trip to Middle-earth.

If you’re still on the fence about 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, check out the trailer below:

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