The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
There aren’t many films that can get away with a running time that exceeds two hours. The Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean films both clocked in excess of seven hours in their series, and were heavily criticised for it. Each Lord of the Rings film came in at three hours (with the Return of the King running for a staggering 200 minutes), and they too are remembered more for causing sore backs rather than for their content.
Nine years on and this December, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit is finally brought to the big screen. With a comparatively modest running time of 169 minutes, they go by like water down a drain, as every minute is as entertaining as the last. Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens (LOTR) are joined by Guillermo del Toro to pen a script that’s bursting with humour, adventure and those familiar philosophical phrases from Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in a new trilogy that follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (played by the perfectly-casted Martin Freeman) long before Frodo encountered that troublesome ring. When a mysterious dragon Smaug wreaks havoc on the prosperous Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, the Dwarfs are left without a home. Sixty years on and the Dwarfs, led by Thorin (Richard Armitage), are looking to recapture their home inside The Lonely Mountain … Cue Gandalf, 13 dwarfs and Bilbo who undertake an adventure to end all adventures.
Right from the start, we feel as though Middle Earth never left us as Jackson flexes his directorial talent to the absolute max. New face Freeman fits in perfectly as Bilbo and, something which we saw less and less of in LOTR, the twee, innocent humour and subtle gags make the film that extra bit special. The CGI imagery and 3D effects are nothing short of astounding and although most of the film was shot in front of a blue screen, it doesn’t matter because the narrative and plot are so strong.
Thinking of going to the cinema soon? Watch The Hobbit. You are sure not to regret it.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released in cinemas nationwide on 13th December.
Watch the trailer for The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey here: