by Alexandra McClain
Before there was Lord of the Rings, there was The Hobbit. J.R Tolkien published The Hobbit in September of 1937 which set the stage for the Lord of the Rings trilogies to follow. Without The Hobbit, there wouldn’t be a Lord of the Rings. And although we’ve all become familiar with Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, takes us back to the beginning.
This unexpected adventure begins 60 years prior to Froto’s journey with Lord of the Rings. In this film we find a younger Bilbo Baggins being involuntarily swept into an adventure that includes him accompanying 12 strange dwarves to reclaim a lost Kingdom. It’s safe to say from the beginning that adventure is the last thing on Bilbo Baggins’ mind.
While the other dwarves seem to have a love for a good quest, Bilbo Baggins has grown comfortable living in his hobbit hole and initially he doesn’t seem to have any intentions on leaving it. Adventure isn’t even in his blood. Unfortunately for Bilbo Baggins the venture seems to have chosen him, not the other way around. However it’s during this journey everyone soon discovers just how useful a hobbit can be.
It’s the unexpected small things that make Bilbo useful without him even realizing it. Watching Bilbo discover the courage that lied inside of him all alone was enjoyable. Bilbo finds himself having to prove to the others he’s worthy to be in their company. He doesn’t quite fit in with the others and no one seems fully assured that Bilbo is capable for the job he’s assigned. Throughout the film he finds ways to surprise us all; even the other characters who thought him to be unworthy. Bilbo does well in earning his stripes so to speak.
The visuals in this film are captivating. It was interesting to see the different creatures with special effects and 3D. It’s the best 3D I’ve seen done with human actors. This film takes things to another level visually speaking. Because the film was shot 48 frames per second, your eyes may get quite the work out. It can be a lot to visually intake at some moments. Some scenes happen so quickly it may feel like a visual rollercoaster for your eyes.
With the company of 12 dwarves it may seem like a lot of characters to keep up with. However, they’re all fun to watch on screen. They all seem to somehow provide plenty of humor and laughs where needed. Although you may not remember each dwarf’s name, each character manages to bring something different and memorable to the screen.
Some Lord of the Rings fans may be able to appreciate the appearance of some familiar faces: Elf Lord Elrond, played by Hugo Weaving, Froto (although he doesn’t appear for long) played by Elijah Woods, Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett and Saruman played by Christopher Lee.
Towards the end things began to move swiftly. The movie has a lot of loose ends to tie up just as it seems the adventure is really starting to begin. Although it’s no surprise that the film would be split into several parts, the question is why? The book wasn’t nearly as long or in depth compared to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Because there isn’t as much detail to cover, there could be a potential risk in drawing the movie out longer than it needs to be. After all, the Lord of the Rings was over 1,000 pages compared to The Hobbits 300 or so. Two films seemed reasonable, but trying to create a three part film out of 300 pages could be a stretch.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
by Alexandra McClain