The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Once a classic, always a classic. True to form, renowned director Peter Jackson welcomes us back into the perils and pleasures of Middle Earth with a three-part adaptation of The Hobbit – the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien’s brilliant writing, coupled with exhaustive cinematography, forges a mythical land of lore and loot in the persona of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. Featuring a mishmash of dwarves, dragons, goblins and orcs, Bilbo trots towards the Lonely Mountain in hopes of reclaiming the dwarves’ ancestral treasures from the dragon Smaug.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Familiarity and comfort is, perhaps, The Hobbit’s most beloved characteristic, as avid readers and spectators of the instalment are, once again, treated to a visual feast of characters they have grown to love from the previous films. Expect poignant punches in the gut every now and then, as the film progresses through a series of bittersweet snippets, which feature recurring characters from the original trilogy. Characters, such as Galadriel and Radagast also get more screen time. Moreover, the return of Gandalf the Grey – with all his wisdom and wit – will leave die-hard fans of the trilogy clamoring for more.

Moreover, Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Bilbo Baggins is endearing, if not whimsical. As the central character in the plot, Freeman characterized Baggins with a certain freshness. Richard Armitage, who played Thorin Oakenshield, also gave his character a more tragic and poignant aura – something which cannot be felt in the book.

All in all, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a refreshing adaptation of its book counterpart. Though not revelled as much as the trilogy, this film remains more than an adventure fraught with bloody battles and magical rings.

Part Two of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will premiere in December 2013 and the final instalment in July 2014.

Rating: 4.0/4.0
Shi Ailyn

By Shi Ailyn

3 replies on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

I have to disagree with this review. As good as the movie was, it failed to reproduce the immersive experience that the Lord of the Rings Trilogy managed to do. As a standalone movie, this would easily score a 4 out of 4 stars. But expectations were very high for this film, and as a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, I was very disappointed with this movie. The movie was also filled with very one-sided characters without any interesting layers, the Dwarves were mostly for comic relief, even though they had potentially interesting stories (which I hope will be explored in the upcoming movies), and it was a very long movie at about 2 hours and 40 minutes and felt lengthy. This movie should have been rated at least a 3, or if possible a 3.5 out 4 stars.

The length has actually provided more room for the film to explore, which means that it had covered a great amount of detail one would not normally expect from a book-turned-film adaptation. To each his own opinion, I guess.

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