Movie Review - The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

Far over
The misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep
And caverns old...

Atala - Thus begin the lyrics to the Song of the Misty Mountain, a song which recurs throughout "The Hobbit", the subject movie of this review. And I have to say that if I had to choose a song to fit the movie, I couldn't have chosen better than this. It's a deep, soulful and haunting tune which evokes scenes of epic adventure full of perils and drama.

And there are certainly perils and drama aplenty in this film, as Bilbo Baggins, the eponymous hobbit, Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves go on an adventure to reclaim the dwarves' lost kingdom.

I was somewhat apprehensive about going to watch this; a few months ago, I had watched a Lord of the Rings trilogy of films in a marathon session, and I came away with a headache.

But this was very different. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy took itself all seriously with complicated plots full of Nazgul-this and Sauron-that, this was a much more light-hearted film which was much more straightforward to follow, while still keeping me at the edge of my seat with dramatic scenes where the adventurers encounter all kinds of monsters.

A particularly favourite scene of mine was Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, the degenerate hobbit who lives in a dark cavern. The scenes with Gollum were one of the few bright spots in my unhappy experience watching LotR, and I enjoyed no less the way his dual character was displayed as he switched from wide-eyed innocence to outright malevolence. Too bad he can't have his own movie.

So all in all, a fun, enjoyable experience, and worth the 3.5 stars that it gets.

Myne - I am a big fan of the LOTRs trilogy and when the initial previews of The Hobbit came out last year, I convinced Atala to do a marathon of the movies with me so we could relive the middle earth adventure. Those initial previews hooked me in with the Dwarves' song, and after watching the LOTRs movies, I just couldn't wait for this instalment. I wasn't disappointed.

I almost was after the later trailers skipped the soul stirring song in favor of longer scenes of fights with orcs and goblins. But after the relatively long movie experience which we saw in IMAX 3D, I was fulfilled. I got the full treatment of the song, and a rollicking action film to boot.

The Hobbit stays mostly true to the LOTR story, trying to tie them together and bringing back characters we already know, like Gandalf (of course), as well as the Lord of the elves, and Galadriel. In addition, there was the new characters of the dwarves to follow on a new adventure, and adventure full of portent and danger, but also fun and brotherhood.

Any Lord of the Rings fan will surely enjoy The Hobbit. I really did and I give it a 4.5 stars.

Have a great weekend and have fun at the movies if you do decide to go.