The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

The Hobbit is an unexpected disappointment

By Michelle Lang

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based off of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels of the same name, has reached critical acclaim worldwide, becoming an instant favorite for all fantasy film lovers. It stands to reason, then, that people would rejoice at the news that The Hobbit, Tolkien’s prequel to The Lord of the Rings, is finally getting a movie adaptation. Though this sweeping, bold film is certainly worth watching, some may find that they are slightly disappointed by the chaotic mess it is.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who has absolutely no interest in adventures. By a strange twist of fate, however, the hapless hero finds himself on a journey across misty mountains and through dark forests. His quest is to help a group of dwarves take back their mountain stronghold from a terrible dragon. The movie runs, in true Lord of the Rings style, for a whopping 169 minutes.

While the film certainly has its moments, the whole thing is haphazard and confusing. Transitions between characters and points of views are awkward and out of place. Escapes are too harrowing, with the whole party only escaping danger by a matter of milliseconds. In essence, The Hobbit tries too hard to be more than what it is: a simple adventure story. Even if the outrageous deviations from the novel are ignored, the audience is left with a feeling of puzzlement and irritation at the movie’s end.

However, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is definitely not without its good points. The casting is impeccable. Martin Freeman was an especially good choice as the actor for Bilbo Baggins; his constantly worried expression fits his character perfectly.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is its stunning cinematography. It is the first film that has 3D effects in 48 frames per second (fps) instead of the usual 24 fps. This makes it especially worth it to watch the movie in 3D. The movie is not shy about its superior graphics either. The audience will be able to enjoy the 3D effects to their fullest extent as the camera sweeps across fantastic landscapes and over imposing mountain peaks.

In the end, though, movies are about their content, not about their cinematography. While The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is entertaining enough, it is hardly worth the legacy The Lord of the Rings has left behind. What’s more, it is definitely not worth spanning over two more movies. That’s right. The Hobbit is actually going to be a three-part series, not just a single film. Milking the franchise, anyone?