YES! I have finally watched one of the most anticipated film of 2012 and needless to say, it’s incredible.
Peter Jackson & co. make a welcome return with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a stunning visual piece filled with action, heart-warming scenes and prepares us for a great adventure that lies ahead.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows a young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is unexpectedly approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to go an epic quest to save the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Bilbo joins the company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin (Richard Armitage).
Martin Freeman, whom I’ve been a major fan of since his Tim Canterbury days (The Office), is an absolute delight as Bilbo. As my friend remarked, “He was simply being very Martin Freeman-ish.” Indeed, Freeman embodies his trademark sense of cuddly like-ability, and it’s just impossible not to root for him. Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor, plays Radagust the Brown – a nutty, nature-loving wizard who rides on a rabbit sleigh. It’s not exactly hard to imagine, but McCoy pulls off the kooky character rather well.
Plus with appearances by Frodo, Gandalf, Lord Elrond, Galadriel, not-evil-Saruman and Gollum, familiar faces are aplenty. Also, it was such a delight to spot Flight of the Conchord’s Bret McKenzie (“Frodo, don’t wear the ring!”). After his cult status as Figwait, Bret returns as Lindir, who shows some spunky sass upon “greeting” the dwarves at Rivendell.
I watched the film at the standard 24 fps and was not disappointed at all. There’s plenty of swift, rapid movement that occurs at every action sequence. The vivid colours are a sight to behold as well. Without a doubt, however, Jackson greedily indulges in certain shots, perhaps even carefully dragging out bits of the action or slowing the pace of the plot. After all, The Hobbit is merely a 320-page novel compared to the colossal size of the LOTR Trilogy (1011 pages, more or less). It’s been years since I last read The Hobbit, but needless to say, I’m glad that the world of Middle Earth is back on screen. I can’t say anything about the decision to split The Hobbit into a trilogy without watching all three completed films – and it’s something I’ll be more than happy to do.
My rating: ****