Bilbo Baggins is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever ... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities ... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to ... Written by
Contrary to popular belief, Cate Blanchett was not placed on a swivel platform, in order to create the delicate turn of her entrance. Merely, she just rotated her body, without any help from a prop. See more »
Bilbo's height in comparison to Gandalf's changes throughout the movie. This is also visible in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. See more »
My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures. And while I can honestly say I've told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. I am old, Frodo. I am not the same hobbit as I once was. It is time for you to know what really happened.
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There is an advertisement for 'splode soda' at the end. No such product exists. See more »
An Unexpected Journey or An 'Adventure' of Procrastination and Reminiscence?
Often we are compelled to do something we wouldn't usually do due to a rush of emotion and indeed, writing my first film review is accompanied by sorrow, anger and disappointment. Sorrow, because I am sorry that I wasted 3 hours of my life; anger, as I feel one of my favourite books has been desecrated; and disappointment, that now this film exists no- one will be given the further opportunity to actually do this book justice.
It might be expected that this review would harp on that there is an unnecessary amount of padding, which is true, but not what I particularly want to comment on; in other reviews it has seemed to overshadow, what I believe, are other major issues this film has.
Martin Freeman's portrayal of Bilbo Baggins left me feeling very bitter. After watching and very much enjoying BBC's fantastic series 'Sherlock' with Martin Freeman playing 'Dr. John Watson', I was very much shocked that he has done nothing short of copy and pasting this character into 'The Hobbit'. We are presented with a scatty, cliché spouting 'hero' with all the charisma of a schoolchild acting up for attention. In Sherlock he is able to bounce effectively off of the stolid Benedict Cumberbatch but in 'The Hobbit' he is a source of mild 'kookiness' that festoons the plot-line like a wacky tie on a businessman. It becomes very difficult to take the story very seriously.
In the dwarven camp we also have the other extreme. Much like the famous seven dwarfs there is Grumpy (Thorin) whose levels of grumpiness have reached titanic proportions, unfortunately to the extent that he just comes across as being a rude, nihilistic homunculus. I don't even believe that he wants to succeed in his quest because then he might not have anything to whine about. There are also the other dwarfs... actually this is harder than I thought because the remaining 12 dwarfs are just uncharacterised all-purpose plot drivers. I suppose I also remember Fatty (Bombur) who is amusing in the same way that a cat confusing its reflection in a mirror for another cat is amusing; you will laugh but you would not exactly pay money to see it.
My mother always told me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", so I will compliment Andy Serkis and certainly the team behind the rendering of Gollum for what was the only scene that I enjoyed. The exposition of Gollum treads very carefully and I believe successfully along the line between quirky and menacing that I think even excelled the character's appearance in 'The Lord of the Rings'. I feel that I was challenged whether to feel sorry for or be frightened of Gollum and though his time on screen was disgracefully ephemeral, I felt that I was drawn in.
It was very difficult to be drawn in by the rest of it. Bilbo, despite claiming to be a poor sword-smith, becomes remarkably fortunate in his blows against presumably trained fighters. Most of the cast get battered against rocks and fall down vast crevices with no injury. None of the scenarios the dwarfs find themselves in seem the slightest bit daunting as they appear to be completely invulnerable and there is no sense of fear or peril. The actors barely deign to care about being captured or being attacked. It feels as if Peter Jackson is not even trying to convince you that the antagonists might win. Tension is created by promising the audience that the heroes are in serious danger, characters that you sympathise with will meet an unjust end at the hands of evil. If their absurd fortune suggests they are blessed by the Hand of God I am given no reason to feel any emotion beyond abject apathy.
The problem that the film is left with is that there is no sense of an epic journey. The frequency of flashbacks and asides just renders the main storyline incoherent and seemingly secondary to the back story and appearances of characters from 'The Silmarillion'; I'm not sure which story they are really trying to tell. The film is entitled 'The Hobbit' yet it tries so desperately to avoid the actual plot as much as possible that it ends up looking like a montage of deleted scenes from 'Lord of the Rings' interspersed with tenuous dialogue.
I enjoy films that throw different plot strands together but I like them to make some sense at the end of the film. It's like a puzzle where finally the picture reveals itself as all the pieces have been slotted together. I already knew the plot of 'The Hobbit' and I felt that I had my puzzle set up, ready to be admired, before Peter Jackson cast his hand carelessly across it and knocked all the pieces into a mess on the floor.
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