The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

It is hard to believe that it has been nine years since we have last visited Middle-Earth. With all the special and extended editions that have been released since the theatrical run of the Lord of the Rings, fans have been kept busy but it’s never the same as viewing a movie for the first time on the big screen. In 2012 Peter Jackson has brought us the Hobbit and plans on releasing its two sequels in the following years.

The Hobbit is set 60 years before the events of the Lord of the Ring movies and follows Bilbo (Martin Freeman) as he sets on an unexpected journey. He is recruited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) who was in charged with finding the 14th member of a party made up of dwarves. They set off to the Lonely Mountain in order to take back the dwarves home and defeat the dragon Smaug.

It’s wonderful to be back in Middle-Earth and Jackson does a great job, just as previously at making everything feel and look so real. Ian McKellen brings back to life Gandalf as only he can. It’s great to see McKellen hasn’t missed a beat since the last films. Martin Freeman does a relatively good job as Bilbo Baggins. He nails the role perfectly and has that certain Baggins charm about him. The other main character is Thorin played by Richard Armitage. Armitage does an amazing job portraying the fallen king of dwarves. Thorin is the only one of the dwarves that stands out as he is the leader of the group. Although the movie is almost three hours long, it was unrealistic to flesh out all of the characters so I don’t fault the film for that.

Direction wise Jackson absolutely knows what he’s doing and hasn’t lost his touch either. The set pieces are wonderful and do a fantastic job of immerging us into this new world. The music as in the last three films is amazing. They add so much to the atmosphere of the movie that without it just wouldn’t be the same. The cinematography is breathe taking as it captures the beautiful landscapes and paints a better picture for us viewers.

That doesn’t mean that the movie is perfect though. My biggest grievance with the movie is that the first twenty minutes or so are absolutely pointless and needless. I am not one of those people who do not like talking in movies in fact I love it when it’s done right and serves a purpose. The only purpose that the opening sequence has is to re-introduce Frodo for no apparent reason as he has nothing to do with the Hobbit. The other thing that bugged me was that most of the creatures are now done entirely in CGI. It is a shame that not much seemed to go into the creatures although I think that you can’t fault the film too much for that as it adds a more kid friendly feel to it and the Hobbit is supposed to be more kid oriented. Yet I still would have love to see what Jackson could have done if he had more time.

There was no way the Hobbit could disappoint as it was directed by Jackson had the return of McKellen as Gandalf and was based on the wonderful book of the same name. regardless of its faults, the hobbit is an amazing movie that will make you feel like a kid again as you stare in awe at the screen and cheer on Bilbo on his quest to the Lonely Mountain. Overall I would recommend this movie to everyone as everyone should see it at least once, 4 out of 5.

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