Movie Review: Hobbit soars at box office, but hobbles along on story

December 17th, 2012 at 11:49 am by under THRS Movie Reviews

CLICK HERE to see the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Official movie poster for The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyNow showing in Hampton Roads!

Many of our favorite Tolkien characters return… A glimpse of Frodo at the beginning, and minutes spent with our favorite elves, but The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is largely the story of Bilbo Baggins’s journey from the shire to Middle Earth to reclaim Dwarf land.

The wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) appears at Bilbo’s house — followed by the arrival of Dwarf after Dwarf to convince him to go on the journey.

Soon there’s a great deal of running and fleeing and fighting and seeing things.  Gandalf disappears and reappears from time to time, and frequently yells RUN!

Its been so long since I’ve seen any of the Lord of the Rings films, I’d  forgotten about my mini-crush on Bilbo Baggins (except when they show his feet.).   Martin Freeman’s just a cutie and the humor and timing he brings to the character or well-done.  Even better than the return of Bilbo Baggins, is the return of Gollum (Andy Serkis).  Bilbo finds himself in a kind of underworld and runs into our old friend.

The Hobbit has been taken on and watered down by Peter Jackson to create An Unexpected Journey.  The book itself is a fairly slim book.  Well-loved by Tolkien fans, and appreciated by literature lovers.  Here it appears to be strung out far beyond its limits in order for Jackson to create a trilogy.

An Unexpected Journey is just that.  Far too long (169 minutes of running time!), but practically all set up for what is to come later in the trilogy. I expected to have some satisfaction leaving the theater, but alas I did not.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really enjoyable bits, some clever dialogue and volume jumping characters that holds your attention… but it seems Jackson forgot that he could edit what he’d shot for the final cut.  It almost seems like a tactic to just have as much characters screen time for Tolkien fans as possible.

Special effects, costumes, make up, set design, and some of the acting should add up to a home run.  that may hold true for diehard fans… but not so much for the mainstream audiences.


Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intence fantasy action violence and frightening images.


One Response to “Movie Review: Hobbit soars at box office, but hobbles along on story”

  1. Mike says:

    The Hobbit the story, the movie, Peter Jackson the director everything everything was great . It was too short.
    I can’t get enough.

    As for me I am enjoying the school holidays reading the Hobbit and going to the movie. Yesterday I went on my own to the movies and I was the only only one in the theatre. I wanted to get my moneys worth and watch all the credits at the end of the movie and listen to Neil Finn sing Misty Mountains and this cleaner came in and disturbed my personal theatre with his rustling of plastic bags .
    I had to shush him smile.
    I and the reviewer are poles apart.

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