Film Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Poster for 2012 film The Hobbit

Directed By:

Peter Jackson

Starring:

Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and of course Andy Serkis.

Also Starring: 

Ian Holm and Elijah Wood

Certificate: 

12A

Plot: 

Sixty years before Frodo's adventures, his Uncle Bilbo Baggins is quite happy living a quiet life, tending his garden. That is until Wizard Gandalf appears at his door, with thirteen homeless dwarves in tow who appear keen to completely eat Bilbo out of house and home.

The Dwarves need Bilbo to help them to reclaim their home, and so begins the most unexpected journey of Bilbo's life, that won't just change his own future, but his nephews too.

Scene from The Hobbit, featuring Bilbo and the Dwarves
Here's a quick tip for you: Never tell a Lord of the Rings fan that you don't like the films - and good grief, never ever tell them that you hated the book - they really do not like that, and you will never win that fight!

Actually, I didn't dislike the films, as such, I just found them a bit slow, and as for the book, that was just a hard read with far too much narrative for my personal tastes.

So, as someone who didn't mind the original films and who had read the rather negative critics reviews, I didn't exactly go in to see The Hobbit with any kind of expectations. In a way, I think that this is the best way to walk into a Cinema, because that way you're not losing anything, but there's a greater opportunity to gain a lot more.

Was this the case for The Hobbit?

Definitely.

The Hobbit's Fili and Kili
The Hobbit is a lot lighter than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I am incredibly grateful for, because it made the long running time a lot easier to handle. I know that a few people have found the three hours run time a little daunting, but none of us noticed it, and for us, the time flew by.

As someone who hasn't read the book, it's easy to just appreciate the story without the moans of what is included, that is not in the book. From what I've been told about the book, I think Jackson made the right decision in changing things for the films. Whilst, it still seems strange to have split this into a trilogy, I do like the way that he has taken the story, and expanded on the world of the dwarves, giving them something more emotive to aim for.

Casting:

The Hobbit's Gollum
For me, the crux to loving this film is ultimately the superb British cast. I was a bit weary of Martin Freeman stepping into Bilbo's shoes, and although I'm not 100% certain of his acting capabilities, he played Bilbo well and I could definitely imagine Freeman as a younger version of Ian Holm.

It was, of course, great to see old favourites including Holm, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee  and Cate Blanchett back, but I do question the need for Elijah Wood. Whilst it was nice to have him there, it could easily have survived without him, but it doesn't really matter.

Aidan Turner allegedly quit his role in Being Human (in which, he was brilliant), to be in The Hobbit. Whilst, this was a huge loss for Being Human, which hasn't been the same since, I really don't blame Turner, and he did a fantastic job as Kili.

If nothing else, The Hobbit has proven how essential it was for Peter Jackson to step back into the Director's seat, because it feels like it's the same world as The Lord of the Rings - which of course it is - but I wonder if any other Director could truly have done that?

Verdict:

A lot more fun than the Lord of the Rings, and for me, a lot more likeable. As usual these days, the 3D seemed a tad pointless and didn't really offer that much.

Rating: 

8.3 out of 10



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