The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson (2012)

169min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Following the hit Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson travels further back through the history of Middle-earth to tell the rather rambling story of Bilbo Baggins. Martin Freeman plays the titular hobbit with curmudgeonly charm, as he reluctantly leaves home to join a band of dwarves led by Thorin (Richard Armitage doing mean and moody) on a quest to reclaim his birthright. Ian McKellen makes an amusing double act with Freeman as the wizard Gandalf, who nudges him into action. Still, it takes a while before the story gets going and the pace suffers thanks to a diversion into Thorin's backstory. Jackson's decision to split the book across three films means he struggles to impose an orderly structure, but he does deliver extraordinary set pieces such as a battle between stone giants and a fateful encounter with Gollum. Of course, Andy Serkis's vivid turn, full of humour and pathos, is deftly captured. The action is heightened with a superfast camera, but crystal clarity doesn't lend itself to a storybook aesthetic. Overall, it's a rocky road with some spectacular views, but you're left feeling there's a long way to go.

Summary

Unassuming hobbit Bilbo Baggins is pulled out of his comfortable life when Gandalf the wizard volunteers him for a dangerous quest. He joins a party of dwarves who are on a mission to reclaim their lost homeland, which has been taken over by a dragon. When the group journeys into the Misty Mountains, Bilbo becomes separated from the dwarves and falls into a cave, where he finds himself confronted by Gollum and forced to play a riddle game. It is set in Middle-earth 60 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and is the first part of Peter Jackson's fantasy adventure trilogy based on JRR Tolkien's novel, starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm and Christopher Lee.

Cast & Crew

Bilbo Baggins Martin Freeman
Gandalf Ian McKellen
Thorin Oakenshield Richard Armitage
Balin Ken Stott
Bofur James Nesbitt
Kili Aidan Turner
Elrond Hugo Weaving
Radagast Sylvester McCoy
Galadriel Cate Blanchett
Saruman Christopher Lee
Director Peter Jackson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 14 Dec 2012
Drama