Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
Peter Jackson has proven himself to be a master filmmaker. His highly scrutinized Lord Of The Rings series proved to not only be a milestone in the artform that is cinema, but as a movement in the history of our pop culture. While some may not fully agree with that, there is no denying the overall popularity and importance of that trilogy.
So, it is a great pleasure to say that Peter Jackson has delivered again. The first film in this new trilogy manages to easily pull us into Middle-earth. Introducing us to a whole new set of characters so skillfully and joyfully that you are immediately willing to join them on the journey they are about to embark on. Bilbo (the hobbit) may be the lead character but the main group of characters here consist of dwarfs. The lively group are played by a wonderful array of actors that are led by an impressive Richard Armitage.
Sir Ian McKellen once again shines as Gandalf, Hugo Weaving is great as usual as Elrond and Sylvester McCoy delivers a great performance as Radagast. These are to name just a few cast members. However, it is Martin Freeman that has the biggest hairy feet to fill. He is perfect as the young Bilbo Baggins. He looks and sounds right at home in a role that seems almost tailor made.
Technically, the movie stands way above most films out at the moment. The highly publicized 48-frames-per-second serves the film well. Some may find the change in frame rates jarring but most will find the extra clarity and detail an absolutely essential part of the cinematic experience. Not all cinemas are showing it in this frame rate so do your research before buying tickets.
The special effects, make-up, cinematography and Howard Shore’s wonderful score are all top notch but these great elements would be nothing without the fantastic screenplay. Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro have crafted a screenplay that is loyal to the source material whilst taking care of their cinematic requirements.
There are some cons. Mind you, there aren’t many. There are some annoyingly cheesy moments scattered throughout and it feels as though they’ve skimped a little on Bilbo’s depth of character in exchange for extending some epic battle scenes. It’s safe to assume that Peter Jackson has a massive extended release up his sleeve.
There is just so much more that could be said about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey but to be fair to you readers I’ll stop here. See it for yourself. It’s exciting, dramatic and epic. Fanboys will go crazy and general audiences will as well.
PS: I haven’t mentioned Gollum. Yes, he is in it. Yes, his scene with Bilbo is an absolute highlight.
THE REEL SCORE: 9/10