Saturday, December 29, 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey movie posterThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Directed by Peter Jackson; Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro. Starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch.

By Rachel Parker

Homebody Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), reluctantly embarks on an exciting adventure with a band of warrior Dwarves to reclaim the Lonely Mountain that was once their beloved home.

The Middle-Earth of Tolkien’s literary classic is beautifully captured again in Peter Jackson/Lord of the Rings style, with sweeping, breathtaking shots of lush hillsides and towering mountains. With a humongo budget of an estimated $150 million, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey does not skimp on the top-notch action movie moments and special effects.

Engaging and sincere, Freeman (The World's End) captures the wit, uncertainty, sweetness, bravery, stubbornness and all around wonderful complexity of Bilbo. Armitage introduces the proud warrior, Thorin Oakenshield, heavy with the burden he bears, wild dwarf hair blowing in the wind, and action hero written all over his braided beard.

With fiery battles of brave warriors against scarred Orcs and drooling Goblins, chases, escapes and quests into the dark and unknown, it’s definitely worth dropping the dollars for the big screen. However, the length of a few scenes begins to be excessive and lulls the plot. There is also quite a bit of Dwarves singing in merriment and woe . . . but, ya know, it worked, and coupled with the threads of humor added a lightheartedness that was refreshing.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fantastic movie choice for Holiday fun, and an adventurous literary classic come to life. Though, with a running time of 166 minutes, it’s a bit of a commitment. So buy a cherry-cola, bring your big purse of snacks and be sure to hit up the powder room before the title rolls.

Rating: ***1/2

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