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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Review

Posted 07/06/2013

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

We’ve waited for years for Peter Jackson, director of the beloved ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, to make this prequel. And the first ‘The Hobbit’ movie is as epic as we could have hoped. (In more ways than one—it’s almost three hours long, and there are two more to come in the trilogy!) As a hobbit, a wizard and a band of dwarves set off on their journey through a fantasy land, we’re along for the spectacular ride. And thanks to the super-advanced way Jackson shot it—48 frames per second!—all the magical creatures and prosthetically altered actors look totally hyper-realistic.

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is set 60 years before the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies—Frodo (Elijah Wood) cameos in a flash-forward. The titular hero is Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who reluctantly agrees to embark on an adventure with Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen, another familiar face from the ‘LOTR’ movies) and 13 dwarf warriors with extremely creative facial hair, who want to reclaim their homeland, Erebor, from a gold-digging fire-breathing dragon.

On their quest, they run afoul of bloodthirsty orcs and goblins…and Bilbo runs into the creature Gollum (genius motion-capture actor Andy Serkis, also reprising his ‘LOTR’ role) and his ‘precious’ gold ring. And somewhere along the way, homebody Bilbo begins to discover his inner hero.

Although this is just the beginning of Bilbo’s three-part saga, there is tons of action, especially in the final hour. And these are some of the most incredible battle scenes you’ve ever seen, with some of the best F/X you’ve ever seen.

Non-obsessive fans may wish we arrived at those scenes a little sooner, but eventually all viewers will be mesmerized by Jackson’s visuals—and charmed by the heartwarming Hobbit. Freeman brilliantly captures the iconic character’s evolution as Bilbo takes baby steps toward bravery. After a movie season filled with larger-than-life superheroes, it’s nice to see that a little guy can be capable of legendary feats too!

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