The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey

  • 12
  • Peter Jackson (2012)
  • US / NZ
  • 169 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

The first part of Peter Jackson's fantasy adventure trilogy based on the book by JRR Tolkien, starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen. Encouraged by the wizard Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins leaves the comfort of his home in the Shire to join a band of dwarves in their quest to reclaim the Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. It is a journey that will see the plucky hobbit encounter goblins, orcs and a very strange creature called Gollum.

Cast and crew

Cast

Gandalf the Grey
Ian McKellen
Bilbo Baggins
Martin Freeman
Thorin Oakenshield
Richard Armitage
Bofur
James Nesbitt
Balin
Ken Stott
Radagast
Sylvester McCoy
Great Goblin
Barry Humphries
Galadriel
Cate Blanchett
Old Bilbo
Ian Holm
Saruman
Christopher Lee
Lord Elrond
Hugo Weaving
Frodo
Elijah Wood
Gollum
Andy Serkis
Kili
Aidan Turner
Thranduil
Lee Pace
Necromancer
Benedict Cumberbatch
Dwalin
Graham McTavish

Crew

Director
Peter Jackson

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Warner Bros
Guidance: 
Violence.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 14 Dec 2012
Certificate 12
Categories
Drama