The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Poster
Title: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Release Year: 2012
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Going into The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (or The Hobbit, as I will refer to it for the purpose of this review) I had very low expectations. When Peter Jackson announced it would be three movies, let alone two movies where I had already felt the source material was being stretched, I cringed. I knew no matter what the reviews were, I’d see this film, because I was curious what Jackson saw that needed to be kept in, and how he would adapt the children’s book that gave birth to the Lord of the Rings novels. Not only that, but I was also curious as to the presentation of the film, being the first big release to be presented in 48 frames per second (the films we all see are generally 24 frames per second). Everything I felt was going to be poor, and everything I felt was going to be great, did exactly as I predicted. The Hobbit is ambitious, beautiful, and welcomes its viewers back into the warm and quaint hobbit holes of Middle Earth, as it tries to be as detailed and entertaining as possible for every sort of audience. A film that truly begs the question, did this need to exist?
Perhaps that’s too loaded of a question. Yes, The Hobbit is a film that should exist, but in a much more condensed and refined version than it is available as right now. No, an extended edition does not need to be seen except by those who were completely floored by this film. The argument would initially be made that this movie just needed to be cut down by half an hour or so, but when reflecting back on it, exactly what would need to be cut out is dependent on what audience Peter Jackson is willing to aim for. The Hobbit is not a film with an epic story in the same vein as The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s far from it, but Jackson wants to turn what is a simple, yet intimidating adventure for one Hobbit, into another massive war as the dwarfs of Erebor attempt to reclaim their homeland from Smaug, the dragon that seized it from them. Now, Smaug isn’t in the first movie except for a mere glimpse and in the introduction scene, reminiscent of The Fellowship of the Ring’s intro. It would have been a lot harder to make three movies from 280 pages if the main enemy was already present and involved in the dwarfs’ journey with young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). Instead, Jackson added an orc into the mix, one who was not in the novel but is a part of Thorin Oakenshield’s (Richard Armitage) story. So, much in the same way that The Lord of the Rings films told the parallel stories of Aragorn and Frodo, The Hobbit seems to be going for a parallel between Thorin and Bilbo.
Check out the Rest of the Review After the Jump.