“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Movie Review

 Far over the Misty Mountains cold

To dungeons deep and caverns old

We must away, ere break of day

To seek the pale enchanted gold.

“The Hobbit” came out on December 14th, 2012, to the delight of Tolkein fans everywhere. But was it worth the seventy-five-year wait since J.R.R. Tolkein first debuted the words “In a in hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

To start off, let me just say that “The Hobbit” is an excellent movie. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

Plot: Bilbo Baggins, (Martin Freeman), a hobbit from the Shire is recruited by the wizard Gandalf the Gray (Ian McKellen) to “share in an adventure.” This adventure entails leaving Bilbo’s comfortable, stable and predictable home to help the King of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) regain his homeland. His kingdom, Erebor, was destroyed and occupied sixty years earlier by the gold-loving dragon Smaug. Along the way, Bilbo encounters orcs, trolls named Tom, Bert and William, one of the last High Elves, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and the creature Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis), who lives under the Misty Mountains.

The movie as a whole is fabulous (duh, it’s directed by Peter Jackson!) but some parts it could have done without. I do think the prologue about the Fall of Erebor is nice, but we could have done without the whole “old Bilbo/young Frodo” scene. That’s Lord of the Rings! I’m glad Gollum was given a role that’s a bit more than a weird gray slimy thing that loves the One Ring, the change beefed up the plot a bit. That said, the run time is cruel (almost three hours), but worth it. There isn’t any gore, but there are some pretty intense action sequences, mostly involving orcs. I think 3D really works for this movie and made it better.

Ian McKellen is quite good as Gandalf, and a bit more amiable than in LOTR. Martin Freeman is STELLAR as Bilbo. Really, I don’t think there’s one thing he could have done better. He has a way of making his lines come alive, using facial expressions. Unfortunately, all the dwarves sort of blend together in a tangle of hair and mischief, with the exception of the broody Thorin and his dashing nephews Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner).

So just go see “The Hobbit.” You won’t regret it. I can’t wait for the second installment, “The Desolation of Smaug”, to come out on December 13th of this year.