Sunday, 27 October 2013

FILM: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (7/10)

Why did I watch it?
I'm no LOTR geek by any stretch, give me a gritty L.A. cop drama any day, but I watched, enjoyed and own blu-rays of Peter Jackson's epic Middle Earth trilogy and having never read The Hobbit I was more than prepared to sit through three more epic films to see what the fuss was all about.

What's it all about?
Ok here goes....sixty years before Frodo's journey to destroy the Ring, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is recruited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to join a group of dwarves, led by kingdom-less dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on their quest across to Middle Earth to Erebor the Lonely Mountain, the dwarves' former home, where Smaug the dragon resides. 

The Good:
  • Familiar return to Middle Earth with re-appearances from many of the original cast
  • Excellent lengthy prologue narrating a previously unknown history of the dwarves and creating the basis for film's story
  • As with all Peter Jackson films, An Unexpected Journey looks fantastic
  • Dwarves, elves, orcs and goblins
The Bad:
  • Similarities to the LOTR story are hard to ignore - a quest of unlikely heroes getting into trouble on a journey across Middle Earth while being chased by Orcs.
  • The film's protagonists, 13 dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard has much less diversity than the Fellowship and as such the character distinction for most of the group is minimal
  • No doubt about it, the film is slow. The arrival and introduction of the group at Bilbo's house was a bore.
  • I like Martin Freeman but after three hours his comedic fussy style and self-deprecation really began to wear me down. Still at least it wasn't three hours of Frodo and Sam.
Bearded Dwarf #1, Bilbo, Bearded Dwarf #2
Favourite line:
'These are Gundabad wargs. They will outrun you.' - Gandalf
'These are Rhosgobel rabbits, I'd like to see them try' - Radagast 

Stand-out moment:
Bilbo meeting Gollum and the Ring  

Like the film? Watch: Might be a crazy idea but maybe the original Lord Of The Rings trilogy?
Like the story? Read: Another unoriginal idea but The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkien

What my wife would say: Which one is he again? When is Orlando Bloom in it?

What the world thinks:
Rotten Tomatoes - 65%
Metacritic - 58/100
LAMB Score - 3.66/5

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