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Movie Review: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Extended Edition (2013)

Updated on February 26, 2021
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey extended edition Blu-ray cover.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey extended edition Blu-ray cover. | Source

Quick Info

Director: Peter Jackson
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Availability: On DVD and Blu-Ray separately, normal version in DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack, buy on Amazon or at your local retail store

Story Summary

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Extended Edition is an extended version of the original movie released in 2012. It has extra scenes, a lot of new special features and commentary for the film from Peter Jackson and the writers of the movie.

Bilbo Baggins is a normal hobbit, who doesn’t go on adventures. The wizard Gandalf arrives looking for someone to go on an adventure with him, and he chose Bilbo. A party of thirteen dwarves shows up and Bilbo ends up setting out on a quest to reclaim their homeland in the Lonely Mountain.

The Story Is Fun, It Reminds Me of "The Lord of the Rings"

I’ve always enjoyed The Hobbit, and I’ve read the book so I was immensely excited for this movie. I actually got to go to the midnight showing with my friends from church.

I was walking around Wal-Mart just browsing the movies and I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition. I just had to buy it because I owned all the Extended Editions for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The plot is a lot of fun, especially if you enjoyed the original book, you’ll know that Tolkien was much more lighthearted in his writing than The Lord of the Rings. This is a fun fantasy story that is, after all, a children’s story.

The plot is very well done, the characters are interesting and I want to see what will happen next. The writing for the movie is also good, unlike its successor.

Bilbo and the dwarves.
Bilbo and the dwarves. | Source

It’s the Most Faithful to the Book of the Three Movies

the three films in The Hobbit film trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) is the installment that is the most faithful to the book, as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2014), or The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), since they added many scenes that were not in the books in order to pad out the runtime of each film.

I enjoy the first installment the most because it has the most source material in it. The sequels just aren’t as good because they lack J.R.R. Tolkien's dialogue and plot.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Blu-Ray - Official® Trailer 1 [HD]

The Visual Effects Are Pretty Good, but New Zealand Is Still Stunningly Beautiful

The visual effects are really good and WETA Digital did a good job with the CGI. The locations in the movie are fantastic and New Zealand is a beautiful country.

The CGI is more jarring for the orcs because they used prosthetics in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and sometimes the CGI does make the orcs feel a little fake.

The CGI does give them the ability to do fun things with the fight scenes and it does make it stand out compared to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

The visual effects do look pretty good. I like them, they have improved a lot over the years and The Hobbit films are still a visual marvel to look at, where it fails is the story.

The Acting Is Great

The acting in this movie is very good. Some of the original cast returns from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but there are many newcomers. Martin Freeman does a spectacular job as Bilbo Baggins. He’s been in the BBC TV show miniseries Sherlock but I’d not seen him in anything before this movie. I really enjoyed his performance in this film.

Ian McKellen is fantastic as Gandalf. It feels like he never left. It’s just a joy to see him on screen. I know that they used more green screen for some of his scenes and he was confused because he was by himself more often, but the effects came out great and he still did an outstanding job giving a great performance.

Richard Armitage does an excellent job as Thorin Oakenshield. He had a lot to prove with this movie. And he did just that. I love his acting in this film and he was a great choice to play this role.

I enjoyed all the other performances by the other actors portraying the Dwarves. They were all excellent choices and they all gave great performances for their roles.

Andy Serkis did a great job returning to the role of Smeagol/Gollum. He gave an amazing performance in both “performance capture” also called “motion capture” and his vocal performance as well. He did an amazing job and it’s nice to see him portraying Gollum again.

Overall, the acting is fantastic and I enjoyed the actors, both old and new. The acting is great and it is a highlight of the film.

"Misty Mountains (Cold)" Full Song And Scene With Lyrics [HD/HQ]

The Soundtrack Is Great

Howard Shore’s musical score was pretty good; not nearly as good as his Lord of the Rings score, but it’s still lovely to listen to. I love the music Howard Shore composed for the films. It is one of the highlights of The Hobbit film trilogy.

It is a lovely soundtrack that I enjoyed a lot. It’s very lovely music that you’ll enjoy if you collect movie soundtracks.

The Extended Cut Has Extra Scenes

The Extended Cut also has scenes which were not featured in the original theatrical versions and they were cut for time. A lot of them add exposition to the story while others are just fun scenes that were cut. There are also longer scenes that improve the story and give characterization to the dwarves.

The DVD and Blu-Ray both have special feature not released with the theatrical version showing all the effort that went into making the movie.

Parental Warning

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2013) is rated PG-13 for fantasy violence. It is recommended for ages 13 and up.

Reader Poll

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The dwarves in Rivendell in the extended edtion.
The dwarves in Rivendell in the extended edtion. | Source

It’s a Fun Movie, but Can’t Surpass "The Lord of the Rings"

I enjoy The Hobbit film trilogy, even if it’s not my favorite film trilogy, but I do enjoy it a lot. Is it equal to The Lord of the Rings? No, but I enjoy the films. Do I think they could be better? Yes, I feel they didn’t follow the original books as closely as they could have. I also feel that they put too much padding in the sequels so they could make the movies longer while creating characters that aren’t in the books.

Tolkien Estate did not sell them the rights to The Silmarillion, so that didn’t help that they couldn’t use the book lore in their film. What they came up with was okay but not amazing. They did use some interesting characters only mentioned in the appendices of the book, but the major changes mainly show up in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Good story, characters and world-building
Slow pacing because the movie's longer
Great visual effects
Some CGI looks weird now compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy
Great acting
Great soundtrack

My Grade: B-

I recommend The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition over the theatrical version of the movie because it is a better version of the movie and it has much better pacing and flow.

The film isn’t the best, especially compared to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it’s fun. If you love the book you’ll be disappointed by the sequel movies because they deviate so much from the book.

It's well worth your time to buy it, it’s a decent film and I enjoy it a lot, but it can’t live up to The Lord of the Rings. It is more frustrating because Peter Jackson deviates from the book more.

but only get it if you’re a big fan of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit and Rings trilogies. It’s well worth your time, but not necessarily your money. If you’re not interested, stick to the theatrical version that you rent on Amazon.

My Rating

4 stars for Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2013)

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