The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

‘The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey’ a film that I have been told on many occasions to be the most anticipated picture of 2012. Yesterday I went to see this film and I feel that it is always nice to do a little light-hearted review of a film you have recently seen.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the beginning of a trilogy of films which focuses on Bilbo Baggins, a young hobbit who sets off on a mission with a band of dwarves. The film, which was directed by Peter Jackson, is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy from the same director and features many of the same cast. Being a fan of these films myself it was very easy to get into the spirit of the film however the Hobbit acts as a completely different story told in a completely different way. In fact somehow whilst watching it I was both always and never thinking about the Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyBefore watching the film I, like many others, was wondering how on earth Jackson had managed to stretch one 280 page book into three motion pictures. I was pretty shocked to hear that the nearly three-hour long film only covered 6 chapters of Tolkien’s original book. However you forget all your criticisms when you are watching it. The film never ceases to be amazing, truly bringing Tolkien’s work to life. The film also contains many scenes (and many villains) that weren’t featured in the books however fit in perfectly with the world of Middle Earth.

The start of the film is spoken from the view of an elderly Bilbo (played by the returning Ian Holm). He tells the tale of the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield and the capture of the lonely mountain by the dragon Smaug (epically played by Benedict Cumberbatch). This part then seamlessly returns to a point only about an hour before the Lord of the Rings starts, with Frodo Baggins running off the meet Gandalf. If I hadn’t known otherwise I would have thought these scenes were filmed simultaneously.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyPerhaps my favourite scene featured the return of three “Lord of the Ring-ers”. These were Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett, Saruman, played by Christopher Lee and Elrond, played by Hugo Weaving. These three along with the good old Gandalf come together in the White Council where they sit around and talk about stuff. Christopher Lee especially gave a great performance (especially considering his roles for all three films were filmed in four days). Lee managed to combine the character of the kindly wise-old wizard with a darker backbone of the traitor which is to come in the Lord of the Rings.

However in every film there are a few minor moans to be had. Some of the battle scenes seemed to never end (yes that worked well in LOTR however Jackson should remember that the Hobbit is a children’s tale). Another thing; though pleased at the sight of Sylvester McCoy playing Radagast the Brown, I wasn’t completely sure that some of his scenes were completely necessary (take the part when he is running round frantically trying to save a dying hedgehog while giant spiders knock on his windows).

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