Movie Review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit presents an entertaining adventure but its stretched too thin, resulting into a repetitive, tedious story that betrays its own title.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” …a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. — (C) Warner Bros

The Hobbit will satisfy any viewer up for the grand visuals of The Lord of the Rings. It’s an epic action adventure that takes you back to Middle earth.

The whole cast is great. Martin Freeman is likeable as the young Bilbo Baggins. Ian McKellen always sounds wise in everything he says. Richard Armitage is a perfect fit for the stern and prideful dwarf leader. Andy Serkis delivers as Gollum/Smeagol who looks pitiful when he looses his “precious”, well almost.

The main problem is that the film is stretched too thin, mainly focused on the action-adventure. The novel is basically about Bilbo who joins Gandalf and a company of dwarfs to defeat Smaug. But Jackson decides to chop it into three films turning the first into an overlong introduction.

As a result, The Hobbit isn’t even about the hobbit. The mission of the dwarfs take center stage with repetitive action sequences filled in between with expositions. They fight, get into trouble, and then eventually saved by Gandalf. The film losses the emotional resonance that was also a big part of the LOTR trilogy. Bilbo’s meeting with Gollum/Smeagol stands as the most memorable in the film.

The Hobbit is indeed an unexpected journey of sorts but mostly serves as an overproduced trailer to another trilogy.

My Rating: 7/10

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