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The Hobbit

January 1, 2013

What can you even say about a film that everyone has been waiting for for more than a year? A film that is now first in a trilogy.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of three movies adapting The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. You may have heard of him. Lord of the Rings? Yeah, that was alright. The Hobbit is a tale about a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a tale of how he was drawn into an adventure with a company of dwarves and a mischievous wizard.

Thorin (Richard Armitage), a prince among dwarves, and his company, are off to re-take their mountain from Smaug, a tyrant among dragons. They enlist Bilbo as the burglar of the group on the advice of Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellan), a scamp among wizards. After eating all of Bilbo’s food, they set off and have adventures with trolls, orcs and goblins. A subplot, of the gathering evil in Mirkwood, is explored, partly to shift the focus from the dwarves.

This is largely more of the same as Lord of the Rings, with even more to follow with the next two films. Lavish landscapes of New Zealand/Middle Earth. Hobbits, dwarves, elves. Battle against nasty creatures. Sweeping orchestral music to carry you away with the action.

That said, The Hobbit certainly has a humour not seen in Lord of the Rings. In the latter, even Merry and Pippin become very serious and dour by the end. However, Freeman imbues Bilbo with a great deal of warmth and light character. The humour is a genuinely pleasant surprise.

The acting is all solid from a cast list as long as my arm. As with everything, it immerses you deeply in Middle Earth. I balk, however, that Benedict Cumberbatch is credited as Smaug despite having no lines of dialogue. I hope we can expect more from him in the next film.

The Hobbit is a very good film, a fitting prequel to three very good film. However, just like the Lord of the Rings films, it is very long, overly so in my opinion. There is the option of seeing it in 3D, which adds as much as 3D ever does.

In short, The Hobbit is good. What did you expect?

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