The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

{4/5} “I fear this quest has set in motion forces we do not yet understand.”

Gandalf the Grey comes to the home of Bilbo Baggins to offer him an unexpected opportunity — go on an adventure. A group of dwarves has decided now is the time to reclaim their home, which has been taken over by a dragon. It will take some time to get there, and there are dangers on the way — including orcs and trolls. But they will also receive help along the way — from the elf Lord Elrond, and Radagast the Brown.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in 2012. I’ve already reviewed it once.

I watched this movie again, in preparation for seeing the sequel — I remembered the general idea, but had forgotten some of the details. Since I knew it wasn’t the greatest movie since sliced bread, I was able to appreciate it for what it was.

I liked it better this time. It has lots of great moments, but doesn’t quite add up to a great movie — but it’s good.

Visually, it’s stunningly beautiful. Musically, it was the best soundtrack of the year. I appreciated the humour — the thirteen dwarves who unexpectedly show up and help themselves to a meal at Bilbo’s house, the trolls who try to cook the dwarves over a fire.

The first half is more interesting. After that things are a bit too reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings — attacks by orcs, a visit to Rivendell, a chat with Saruman. There are also too many times when they’re falling from great heights and surviving at impossible odds.

Basically the story is stretched a bit too thin — they’re still far from their goal at the end of the movie.

Frodo’s appearance seemed natural rather than opportunistic.

The goblin king is wonderfully disgusting.

One special effect that wasn’t quite as special as the rest was Radagast on his sled pulled by rabbits.

All these actors reprise their roles from The Lord of the Rings. Ian Holm (Brazil) plays old Bilbo and Elijah Wood (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) plays Frodo. Christopher Lee (Hugo) plays Saruman. Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) plays Elrond and Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) plays Galadriel.

The sequel is now in theatres.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 9:30 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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