Film Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be exactly what fans of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy expect. This is by no means a bad thing; An Unexpected Journey is an entertaining fantasy adventure.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit living a peaceful existence in The Shire. When wizard Gandalf attempts to enlist him in an adventure, Bilbo is reluctant. A group of dwarves are determined to reclaim their homeland, and need Bilbo’s help on their journey…

Directed by Lord of the Rings helmer Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has the same look and feel of the trilogy, of which this new film is a prequel to. An Unexpected Journey spends ample time setting the scene; introducing the audience to the locations and developing new characters and reacquainting them with old ones. With a running time of 169 minutes, the film has sufficient time to do so.

Given that the film is the first of a trilogy, the time spent establishing the narrative is understandable. Moreover, the Tolkien world created by Jackson is so immersive. It is rich with mythology and visually lavish. The film has peaks in terms of plot, although the serial nature means the ending is not much of a conclusion. Nevertheless, a suitable portion of the overall story is covered by this installment, and it successfully sets up the next part.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been filmed with a high frame rate (48 frames per second instead of the standard 24 fps). Although the picture instantly appears more crisp. However, this takes some time to get used to. The appearance to begin with is reminiscent of historical reenactment on television, particularly in the daylight scenes. The 3D is seamless and adds depth to the film. Performances are good from the whole cast.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a great sword and sorcery fantasy which should leave viewers eager to watch the two forthcoming chapters.