The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

(2012)

Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth with part one of his trilogy adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. A young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, The Office), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage, Spooks) and a posse of dwarves journey to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.... More

Their quest will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although they've got to get to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels where Bilbo meets Gollum (Andy Serkis). It is there with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring... a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth.Hide

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Flicks Review

Despite benefiting from the world-establishing goodwill generated by the Lord of the Rings movies, this film stands ably on its own, offering up generous piles of large scale fantasy underscored by genuine emotional heft and boundary-pushing visuals.... More

The structure heavily recalls Fellowship – opening history lesson; Hobbiton tranquility; a long walk; an Elven meeting and some fun inside a mountain. But the character dynamics and gargantuan set-pieces set it apart.

The theme of stepping outside one's comfort zone to engage in the big, bad world is palpably evoked by Martin Freeman's Bilbo. The hesitant, beleaguered Freeman is so perfectly cast, it's easy to see why Peter Jackson shifted the shooting schedule to accommodate him.

Jackson does an admirable job of corralling the thirteen dwarves, who each somehow manage to display individual traits. As their leader Thorin Oakenshield, Richard Armitage grandly embodies the heroism of the story, and will surely be the recipient of a Viggo Mortensen-esque career bump.

The tone occasionally skews a little younger than LOTR, but the disparity isn't huge. It does allow the low-brow humour of Jackson's early work to shine through however, especially in the form of the grotesquely jowly, flatulent Goblin King, performed mo-cap style by Dame Edna herself, Barry Humphries.

Spartacus star Manu Bennett gives a fantastic mo-cap performance as pale orc Azog, once again displaying Jackson and company's gift for creating iconic antagonists where Tolkien didn't. Indeed, any concerns about this feeling too much like preamble had evaporated by the end of the film. There's a natural arc here and it runs its course.

Enterprises of this scale are par for the course in Hollywood these days – but this film simply reinforces what Peter Jackson and his collaborators do better than anyone else: they take you on a real emotional journey, unexpected or otherwise.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 9 ratings, 9 reviews
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BY wobbit superstar

What can I say, I'm a biased fan


A very slow and laboured start to the movie had me wondering if I had made a mistake, but 'No' it got better and moved along quite nicely, didn't even realise that it was 2hrs 46mins long by the end of the movie, that's how nicely it progressed.

I loved the trilogy and had high hopes for this movie, even though I truly thought there was no way it could compare, (Fact is, I hate the Hobbits make-up and effects) but I was wrong, I wouldn't give it a Gold medal, but it is a great Silver.


BY Red superstar

Starts way too slow, but picks up and ends on par with LOTR. The Gollum scene is the highlight.


BY filmlover superstar

I apologise now if I offend, but I hope that all those folks who saw the Hobbit and didn't enjoy it may find comfort in this review. I really enjoyed the Ring trilogy and had high hopes for this one. The 48 frames per second concept made perfect sense to me (while I must admit the combo with 3D seemed an unusual choice) and I went in ready to be enthralled. What I got was the overall impression that something had gone horribly wrong. The tonal range was so blown out that the richness and range... More of colors had been severely reduced. I had the feeling I was watching a film shot entirely on a set in the Hollywood backlots. The close-ups certainly showed every pore on the skin but the sweeping NZ landscapes looked yellow and overly contrasty. And the sound was turned up to ear-splitting volume, was that the instruction that arrived with the print?
The only saving grace of this film was Martin Freemen who was relaxed and charming from start to finish. I can see why Sir Peter waited while he finished Sherlock Holmes. Without him this would have been one long in-your-face battle with no respite. With those who said this little book should never have been stretched to 3 films I must now agree. I think Sir Peter lost the plot, literally, with this one.Hide


A very nice balance between adventure ,duty and good old fashioned merryment. Jackson really captured the spirit of the creatures of middle earth perfectly in an "Unexpected Journey".

He stayed very close to the original book thanks in part to the enormous talent and capability of "weta workshop".

The sound track was sublime and its quite difficult to get the haunting dwarf melody "misty mountain cold" out of ones memory once its been loaded.


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The Press Reviews

65% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Plays younger and lighter than Fellowship and its follow-ups, but does right by the faithful and has a strength in Martin Freeman’s Bilbo that may yet see this trilogy measure up to the last one. There is treasure here. Full Review

  • Elements in this new film that are as spectacular as much of the Rings trilogy, but there is much that is flat-footed and tedious as well, especially in the early going. Full Review

  • Fantasy how it ought to be. Full Review

  • Fulfilling just a fraction of Tolkien's There and Back Again subtitle, The Hobbit alternately rewards and abuses auds' appetite for all things Middle-earth. Full Review

  • Jackson has made it with brio and fun, and Martin Freeman is just right as Bilbo Baggins: he plays it with understatement and charm. Full Review

  • At its best, it recaptures the Rings movies' breadth, detail, and staggering sense of beauty. Full Review

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