The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Running Time: 169 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown
The first installment of The Hobbit trilogy begins with Bilbo Baggins’ (Freeman) meeting with the thirteen dwarves and Gandalf the Grey (McKellen). Together, they begin their journey to reclaim the lot Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon, Smaug. The quest is led by the Gandalf and the legendary dwarf warrior, Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage). During their quest, they meet various creatures like the Gobilns and Orcs, deadly Wargs, Elfs of Rivendell, and so on.. After all, it is only the beginning…
As a big fan of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, it comes as a surprise to myself that it took me close to a year to watch The Hobbit, but I’m glad that I was once again whisked away on an adventure from the first scene till the last. There were a lot of scenes that made me reminisced the previous trilogy, especially the sceneries, the effects, and the characters. The attention to detail on the props, the set, the costumes, hair and makeup was remarkable, like before, I found myself overwhelmed by the details on every scene. The design of the sets was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The landscapes, still made me want to visit New Zealand to get a look at them myself.
Moreover, the cast was well-chosen, especially with Martin Freeman. I thought he portrayed the young and naive Bilbo Baggins well. Richard Armitage, and the rest of the actors who played the thirteen dwarves were equally captivating on-screen, as they gave a convincing performance. I have a feeling that a few of them may have a rising career ahead after this. Aside from the main actors of this film, I couldn’t help but squeaked in excitement when I saw some of the actors reprising their roles – Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, and Ian McKellen himself.
The soundtrack echoed the score of the previous three films, with its own twists that helped set the mood and bring audiences back to realm of Middle Earth. The editing and cinematography was similar to that of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I guess is both good and bad. Good since the quality of the editing and cinematography was already quite perfect, bad because audiences who are familiar with the previous films may find it a tad bit disappointing that there isn’t much difference. My take on this is, I’m still as captivated and inspired as before, as I watched the film.
So, all in all, it was definitely a good beginning for a trilogy, setting the story and the scene for the remaining two films. It also began well to connect the previous trilogy to this. I would highly recommend it to those who are lovers of the previous trilogy, and even if you’re unfamiliar to the Lord of the Rings world, this will not be difficult to follow since it’s a whole other story of its own.
Rating: 8 out of 10