A Review of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Today, I thought I’d take a crack at reviewing a movie. I chose the Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for two reasons. For one thing, I didn’t get to watch it, in theater. This review served as a good excuse to watch it.

Secondly,I love J.R.R Tolkien and his collection of great books.I’ve read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, as a kid and continued reading them, over the years.

As I’ve seen Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, I was expecting a good retelling of this old classic.

Guess what?

I loved it! It was great watching returning favorites like Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Christopher Lee (Sarumun)  and others. In the first set of films, they hired Ian Holm to play Bilbo. Though Ian returned as the older Bilbo, it was Martin Freeman who plays the younger Bilbo Baggins.

This movie is a prequel to Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy: “Fellowship of the Ring, “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King”. Like its predecessor, the Hobbit is set to be a film trilogy. The first installment is called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”. The second installment is due December 2013 and it’s called “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. I’m not sure of when the third one is due.

The Hobbit takes place in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Bilbo is a hobbit and he want to live a quiet and uneventful life in his home, the Shire. One day, a wizard named Gandalf shows up and sets Bilbo up for an unexpected evening dinner party for Thorin Oakenshield and 12 dwarves.

Thorin and company were on a quest to reclaim their lost home of Erebor; however there is one little problem. A fierce dragon has invaded their home and destroyed the surrounding areas. Gandalf had convinced Thorin that he would need a little help. They were going to need the service of a burglar or a thief.

Guess who the burglar is?

Bilbo joins the company and they’re off to reclaim Erebor. Smaug isn’t the only problem facing our heroes. How about pursuing orcs and goblins? How about an old enemy of Thorin Oakenshield? For Gandalf, there’s the ominous coming of the Necromancer.

As with the book, there’s plenty of tense moments in the movie. You’re left asking “How are these guys going to get out of this mess?” There’s also some unexpected rescues. You’ll have to watch the movie and find out. No spoiler, here.

There’s also some great character driven drama, too. Thorin starts out as a man dwarf who’s on a single-minded mission to reclaim his home and the throne of his grandfather. In the beginning, Thorin is seen as arrogant and disdainful towards Bilbo. It’s not just Bilbo that he acts badly towards. The same could be said of Elrond and other Elves.

Does Thorin ever learn and repent of this prideful behavior? Let’s say that you’ll love what you see; as the film unfolds. As you watch the movie, you will likely see other themes running through the movie. I just thought one and I’m not telling. 🙂

I’d love to hear your comments, though!

Is it necessary to have read “The Hobbit”? Peter Jackson and crew took great care to clue the viewers in on what’s going on. You don’t need to read the book, beforehand. If anything, the book will make you impatient for the rest of the saga.

Is it a faithful retelling? I’d say it’s close; however, no movie can be exact. Tolkien did not write “The Hobbit” with an eye for a movie. I haven’t read the book, in years. From what I recall, the movie seems close.

However, there is one key difference. The Necromancer did not appear in “The Hobbit”. How could he? Tolkien did not write about this character, til “The Lord of the Rings”. It’s in the appendices of “The Return of the King” that we get the story of the Necromancer.

It appears that Peter Jackson is incorporating the two stories into one film trilogy. So far, he’s doing a good job. I’m looking forward to seeing how the next two movies plays out.

What about you? J.R.R Tolkien definitely incorporated Christian themes in “The Hobbit”, “Lord of the Rings” and the Simarillion”; even if this was not the original intent. What Christian themes are you seeing in this film version of the book?

If you are interested in the movie,The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then please click on the link and you can purchase the DVD at Amazon.com. This would help me, a great deal. Should I have added links to related books and movies? I did not want to over do it.

2 thoughts on “A Review of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

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