The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – Movie Review

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nOGsB9dORBg]

 

The Hobbit is the story of a young Bilbo Baggins, a reserved and hesitant hobbit.  Bilbo, approached one day by an unknown Wizard, Gandalf the Grey, enters into an agreement with a group of 13 warrior Dwarves on a mission to reclaim their homeland.

A lot of you out there, like my husband, have read the book.  I haven’t read it and luckily for me that’s all right in this instance.  I enjoyed the movie despite not having studied before I got to the theater.  Peter Jackson delivers another wonderful and consuming visual tale through The Hobbit.

Martin Freeman is the young Bilbo Baggins.  His portrayal of this character eased me back into Tolkien’s world quite nicely.  All the breathtaking sights are back and feel like a familiar fantasy and excellent spot in which to embark on another journey of action, adventure and awe. Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elija Wood and Ian Holm are all back to lend some pivotal continuity to Jackson’s latest in his series of films.  All do what they are known to do and complement the story beautifully with their latest incarnations as these beloved characters.

I enjoy taking the time to watch a good story build so I don’t mind the investment in minutes.  Others though, those used to a more instant variety of gratification, may see more shortcomings in this film than I did.  For me, the story moved at a varied and always appropriate pace.  I could easily see, however, where the more casual moviegoer might bet bored or take a mental walk in the park because the movie wasn’t moving quickly enough.

Richard Armitage’s portrayal of the valiant, noble and fiercely loyal Thorin missed the mark.  Thorin leads these warriors through battles to reclaim their homeland and I never really accept that he’s our leader through this episode.  I was never convinced that he was royalty denied a kingdom and a home.  I didn’t get that hunger for vengeance from him, the kind that is most appealing when coupled with tragedy and yearning.

Unfortunately, it always kind of felt like this movie was a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series and because of this, came off slightly anticlimactic.  The visual effects are once again eye-popping and the story is a classic so there’s a winning combination there, nevertheless, we’ve already seen all that before.  I admit, I was hoping for some surprise that would make this movie it’s own journey, instead of an interestingly notable leg of a much larger voyage.  The story’s clearly there, but I’m not getting the most from it with this snippet.  I suspect that won’t be a problem in the long run because the journey clearly isn’t over yet.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)B

B = Watch it in a theater, stream it on T.V. or add it to your Netflix queue; chances are, you won’t curse me when the credits roll, for recommending.

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