Director Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is one of the most successful franchises in history, garnering a staggering $3B in worldwide box office and received a total of 14 Academy Awards. I believe that aside from Star Wars, the LOTR is my movie of my generation.
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”
Here comes Jackson’s take on the prequel to the LOTR Saga–The Hobbit. This film is one of the most highly anticipated movies for 2012. I am a huge fan of the trilogy and likewise, I was waiting for this prequel. However, sometimes creating a prequel can be very precarious. When a risk is combined with too much anticipation, this would lead to a steep build of high expectations.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) 60 years prior to the adventures in the LOTR. Bilbo Baggins is met unexpectedly by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and finds himself joining a pack of thirteen dwarves (Ehem, there’s Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Ori, Nori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin Oakenshield) and together they must embark on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.
During the first part of the trilogy, the group must pass through a series of quests—from dealing with the trolls, running away from the orcs, witnessing a thunder battle, to escaping the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever—Gollum. With Gollum, Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also possesses Gollum’s precious—a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Watching this film is like reading the book and witnessing the pages come to life on the big screen, or on an even bigger IMAX screen. For someone who loves movies that are aesthetically appealing, I think the images and Visual Effects on The Hobbit are so marvelous and breathtaking. However, I feel like Peter Jackson stretched this film far too much that at times it gets uncomfortably dragging.
Just as expected, The Hobbit is nowhere near the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I would still give credit to Jackson and the production team for delivering a fantastic and decent prequel, nonetheless. I am looking forward to the next Hobbit sequels.
4.5 out of 5 stars