The hobbit review
I’m not a fan of lord of the rings: I know that the film’s and book have a strong following but I never really got into them, maybe because I only watched fellowship of the ring, which I found to not really live up to its hype with half the cast being as bland as potato and most the fight scenes (of which there were only a few) being a bit lacklustre. Going into it, I was mildly cautious about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then. However, it turned out to be a strong start to the 3 film trilogy which, despite a few flaws, proved to be a good accompaniment to a trip to Nando’s later than evening.
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is definitely a lot lighter in tone than the main Lord of the rings franchise, and is better because of it: Rather than have a grimfaced, depressed party like the original series, the group accompanying Bilbo Baggins is comprised of Gandalf (one of the few characters from fellowship of the ring with a actual personality) and a party of dwarves, who manage to comprise of enough comic relief characters to make the film fun and enough dark one’s to remind us of the serious aspects of the world of middle earth. That’s something the film does really well: it’s balance between comedy and serious prevents the film’s tone from becoming bland and boring, and the characters can’t be considered too wacky or serious with maybe the exception of Thorin, (played by Richard Armitage) Although he eventually does develop into a somewhat likable character regardless. Bilbo and Gandalf prove to be the star’s of the movie, however, as the actors who play them do an excellent job of displaying both characters personality’s and responses to events on their journey in both comedic and serious scenes.
Apart from the characters, An Unexpected Journey also excels in several other areas: The CGI is quite impressive, especially on the Orcs, the fight scenes are well choreographed and feel fast paced, and various set pieces are quite stunning, especially the Cave scenes and Rivendell. I do have one major complaint for the film, however: considering the film is near 3 hours long, not much actually happens. The party hadn’t even got to Smaug’s mountain by the end of the film, let alone tried to infiltrate it. Part of the reason could be the fact they are trying to squeeze some of the extended Lord of the Rings universe into the movie, which I personally found to be uninteresting compared to the main quest. The next two instalments to the trilogy may be able to prove me wrong, but so far I wish the filmmakers had just focused the film’s time on the Bilbo’s journey.
Overall, however, An Unexpected Journey proved to be a good watch, and I’m quite interested in seeing how the rest of the trilogy pans out. If Peter Jackson can fix some of the few flaws the film has, he might have a masterpiece on his hands.
Harry, Signing off