The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Bilbo Baggins is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome 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. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. 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” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities — IMDB
I was so excited to see this movie. I am quite a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies and I was really curious as to what they have made of The Hobbit, especially as they turned 1 book into 3 movies. Overall I was very much pleased with the film. Even more so, I was pretty damn ecstatic.
From the first scene on, you’re immediately thrown back in the mood set by the Lord of the Rings, which had such an unique feel about it. The movie starts out with Ian Holm as an older Bilbo setting the scene for a story of an epic adventure. Then time jumps back 60 years and we meet the younger Bilbo, excellently portrayed by Martin Freeman, who is ‘invited’ by Gandalf to join him and a group of Dwarfs on a ‘adventure’. Later that night, Bilbo’s house is overrun by 13 dwarfs who rampage through the house and plunder his pantry. Bilbo, who is a good Hobbit and who would never want to do with anything that is out of the ordinary, doesn’t know what to do with the company as they make themselves at home in his house.
I have to say, I sat in the cinema for 3 hours and I still don’t know the names of all the dwarfs. The only names that I can remember AND know which dwarf goes with it are Thorin and Fili and Kili. But that’s only because Thorin is the top dog and I had a slight movie-crush on Kili.
The dwarfs are lead by the dwarf-prince Thorin Oakenshield, and they are about to set out on a quest to retrieve the treasure and land stolen from them by the fierce fire breathing dragon Smaug. It is explained to Bilbo by Gandalf that they need a ‘Burglar’; someone who is small and quiet and who can sneak in and out of places unnoticed. After initially refusing the offer, Bilbo decides to go with the company to help the dwarfs with their task. They leave the next morning but while traveling through ‘The Wild’ in order to reach The Lonely Mountain, where Smaug resides, they encounter many dangerous foes that make their quest all the more difficult. While the company is fighting off enemies left and right, Bilbo comes across a strange creature, Gollum, who will change Bilbo’s life forever.
I’m not going to tell more of the story because 1) it would contain many many spoilers and 2) it would be way too long so, I’m going to limit myself to writing about the things that stood out to me.
The first thing that I want to say about this movie is that I absolutely loved Martin Freeman in the role of Bilbo. Even more so, I thought that pretty much all the roles were really well cast but I mean, Martin Freeman really is Bilbo. He was so perfect in the role of a seemingly awkward hobbit who doesn’t want anything to do with strange things but who then changes into someone who is courageous and clever. Massive props to Mr. Freeman, he really made this movie. Secondly, I really liked the familiarity that The Hobbit has. You can clearly see Peter Jackson’s fingerprint on this movie and, like I said before, it has the same kind of feeling that Lord of the Rings had. But even though it had the same feel to it, it was still different. More innocent maybe. What I mean by this is that it is obvious that Sauron hasn’t had any influence on Middle-Earth yet, although the first signs are starting to show. The flipside, however, to this is that a lot of the scenes left me with a kind of deja-vu feeling, like I have seen it before. For example, when the company is running over the bridges in the realm of the goblins, it kind of looks like both the scene in Moria in Fellowship of the Ring and Saruman’s workshops in The Two Towers. There were a couple more scenes like this but there was so much to see in this movie, I don’t remember them all.
Then the next thing that I loved about this film was the Radagast the Brown Wizard. He was awesome. Simply. Awesome. I want to be the Brown Wizard. As I’m a great animal lover, any character that concerns himself over the well being of a hedgehog named Sebastian is cool in my book. I think my favourite moment in the whole movie was when Radagast offered to distract the Warg riders and Gandalf said that the Wargs were going to catch him quickly and Radagast says “These are Rhosgobel rabbits! I’d like to see them try!” before driving off in a sled pulled husky-style by a bunch of rabbits. That had me giggling in my seat for a good couple of seconds.
Another one of my favourites was the battle with the Trolls. When Bilbo and the dwarfs were nearly eaten and then saved by Bilbo who was smart enough to stall them until the sun came up. Then there was the Goblin King (is that what he’s called? I don’t know) who I thought was very funny (“Yes, that’ll do it”). And finally there was the epic riddle battle between Bilbo and Gollum. It really was one of the best scenes in the film. It was funny and clever and I picked up some great riddles (Thirty white horses ride up a red hill. First they stomp, then they chomp, then they stand still).
Then now for the maybe not so great parts:
It was extremely long, I thought. It was definitely longer than it needed to be. There were several moments in the film where I thougth “Yea.. they have definitely drawn this out in order to get a longer film out of it”. In my opinion, a couple of scenes could definitely have been shortened.
Another thing that bothered me was the amount of action in the film. I understand that this wasn’t really in the film maker’s hands but I’m going to say it anyway. There was a lot of fighting. So much in fact, that at the end of the movie, I couldn’t remember what had happened in the beginning of the movie. First there were the trolls, then orcs on wargs, visit to the elfs, giants in the mountains, goblins, and then the final orc battle. Even Gandalf said it himself; “From the frying pan into the fire“. It’s a lot to take in, in a short period of time.
The Hobbit is an epic movie born from same brilliant mind that has created The Lord of the Rings. This holds true for both the books and the movies. It is every bit as magical and amazing as the Lord of the Rings. I haven’t read the book myself (yet) so I don’t know if it follows the book well but form I hear it’s pretty accurate apart from a couple of little things. Everyone needs to see this movie and I can’t wait for the next two.