Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years and 10 months ago
They say “Honesty is the best policy,” right? Well, before I start, let me lay down some truth – unlike “The Chronicles of Narnia,” or “Harry Potter,” for some apparent reason “Lord of the Rings” was never a franchise that piqued my interest. I heard a lot about it to know enough about the stories, and of course it was such a powerful trilogy, its characters were pretty much displayed and talked about anywhere and everywhere I went. So, it’s fair to say characters like “Gandalf,” “Gollum,” “Frodo,” and that ugly-ass, giant-eyed goblin were force-fed upon me.
Yes, they were “pivotal” beings strolling inside my cranium for the past few years considering I had not visually experienced them in a film.
Fast forward a few years later, and it’s all about “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The almighty Peter Jackson, looking to squeeze more green milk out of the franchise’s tit, went and shot 3 prequels – all 3 hours each I bet – and has the world going nuts over those famous faces courtesy of Middle Earth. Its spin-off story, and last but not least an undertow of praise upon a one of Hollywood’s most anticipated films has had an affect totally opposite of “Lord,” therefore, thought I’d indulge with what may be a possible push into obtaining its processor’s discs and embarking on THAT journey – no pun!
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” embarks on Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to recapture the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by warrior, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Their harsh journey takes them into the Wild, through lands swarming with Goblins, deadly strange-looking creatures, stone giants, and a mysterious, sinister figure known as Necromancer.
For starters, this imaginary world created by Jackson is so intense and full of magical actions; it made ME want to be one of those Middle Earth characters. The emotion generated based off characters, their objectives and set-ups were cleverly done enough to maintain my interest, yet seemed too long during certain segments. Whether or not it served purpose can be argued till we’re blue in the face, but pacing from the start to finish had an interesting arc within the story.
Visually, I don’t know how 3D (a/k/a 48 frame) “enhances” the film, as its affects aren’t any different than any other 3D-based film with just as much fire, sword-play, up-close-and-personal character imagery and set-design. Not to say it was horrible – it wasn’t – one of my favorite scenes which entailed giant stones fighting was one that had my system rumbling and still living within me, but truth is, there’s nothing being “missed” if watched in 2D. I’m sure it’s just as gorgeous, loud and interesting.
The film as I hinted earlier is way too extended. Moving along sequences and acts, there were some points in the film I felt were completely unnecessary, and didn’t really elevate anything other than its usual approach and/or appeal. If anything, that would be one of its “downfalls,” aside from some over-extended dialog which I felt killed some areas which should have been more appealing on rapid movement and interaction, rather than zoning in and out of “the moment.” Would the film suffer if it were only 2 hours? Some would say “yes,” but that’s another topic.
In terms of acting, Freeman is great. We all know McKellen always delivers; however, my favorite is Serkis as “Gollum,” who shines and makes his scenes the most enjoyable of the entire film.
Overall, is it “perfect?” I don’t know. I didn’t walk out “WOW’d,” but it definitely captured my imagination and lured me into a world cinematically foreign to my optic-nerves. Contrary to what some hardcore fans or critics may be saying or bitching about, this piece is definitely one that’s fun, intense, and full of wonder. So much, I can openly say I’m looking forward to next year’s follow-up.