Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis
Director: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Lovely Bones)
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
For those who are unfamiliar, “The Hobbit” is a book written by J.R.R. Tolkien to complement his “Lord of the Rings” series. It is the tale of a younger Bilbo Baggins and his adventures with the One Ring and was originally aimed for children. There was a popular animated version of this story made into a movie so being a huge fan of the book, that film, and the “Lord of the Rings” movies, I was anxiously awaiting the release of this movie. Was it as good as I hoped?
Story: The hobbits are a peaceful race of people who mainly live in The Shire of Middle Earth. The hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is called upon by the wizard Gandalf to help a group of dwarves on their mission to journey to the Lonely Mountain. This is where the dragon Smaug attacked and took over the dwarves homeland of Erebor and all of their treasure.
If you have seen the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) movies, then you can pretty much expect the same type of fantasy movie with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (TH1). It was directed by the same director, Peter Jackson, and the musical score was done by the same composer, Howard Shore. In fact, many of the same characters are back including, Gandalf, Elrond, Galadrial, Saruman, Gollum, and of course, Bilbo.
The younger version of Bilbo here is played by Martin Freeman who is fine in the role. Many of the new characters we meet are the group of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). He is very charismatic and although most of the other dwarves are portrayed as fun-loving, simple creatures, Thorin shows a harder, more fierce side of the race.
The book was written for children and I would say that TH1 is somewhat done with children in mind as well. However, it is still quite dark and the violent battles are present. In fact, there are quite a few action sequences with special effects so be ready to experience a lot of action. One of the differences between TH1 and LOTR is that some of the “bad” characters are created by CG. I don’t think this took away from the movie that much but I usually prefer real humans in makeup like in LOTR.
The last thing to consider about TH1 is that this is the first in the series of three “Hobbit” movies. The second movie, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is set to be released in the U.S. and many other markets this month, however it won’t come out in Japan until February 28th (BOO!) The trailer looks fantastic!
Overall, I felt that the movie was a little long but since I’m a fan, I enjoyed most of it. If you’re a fan of the LOTR movies, then you’ll probably enjoy TH1. If you are not a fan of fantasy and action then stay clear of this film.
What did YOU think of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!
Vocabulary for Study:
- to complement
- to take over
- special effects
- to be released
- to stay clear