The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey– Movie Review
Peter Jackson‘s latest foray into Middle Earth is a rollicking good time, full of thrills, humor, and stunningly detailed, gorgeous visuals. Who cares if it’s basically LOTR Lite?
The Hobbit, the sort-of prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies (the novel was both written first and takes place first chronologically), follows Bilbo Baggins (uncle of Frodo) as he, the wizard Gandalf, and a band of Dwarves attempt to reclaim a Dwarf homeland and treasure. There are many Orcs and Trolls in their way; meanwhile, a fellow wizard warns Gandalf that an ancient evil is creeping back into Middle Earth.
Though this film may lack the overall vision and drive of the LOTR trilogy, it is still quite a good time (after all, The Hobbit is a more light-hearted novel than the others). I enjoyed the subtle differences in mission, as this story represents not a sprawling fight against evil, but a very tangible fight for home (reflected by an inner struggle to find true self).
Jackson practically made several smaller movies, as each digression and flashback was so detailed and fleshed out, it felt like it’s own engrossing story. This attention to detail, from the designers, to the animators, to the actors, made even the smallest performances and set pieces feel meaningful and motivated. And the skilled acting from heavyweights like Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, and even actors in smaller roles like Sylvester McCoy, definitely helped smooth over the overloaded bits.
It’s worth noting that I saw the film in regular 2-D, so I can’t comment on the whole 48fps kerfuffle. Some critics say this was so distracting, it made the film impossible to evaluate.
Also, I am contractually obligated to tell you that the friend with whom I saw the film hated it, saying it’s exactly the same as LOTR, and that your time would be better spent reading the novel, which would take you only slightly longer than watching the film.
I can’t say “why” this film was made, or if it would ever be preferable to re-watching LOTR; but that’s maybe an unfair comparison, and on its own merits, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a beautiful picture and an exciting moviegoing experience.
Did you see The Hobbit? What did you think?