Ah, now here is a movie I’ve been waiting for since my childhood!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fantasy epic directed by Peter Jackson, based upon the book by J.R Tolkien and serves as a prequel to the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, which was also directed by Jackson and adapted from Tolkien’s middle earth best sellers.

As a lover of the original Lord of The Rings films (I was never able to properly get into the books) and having enjoyed reading The Hobbit in Primary School, I was very excited to see The Hobbit movie when it was first announced. Sadly, much like The Amazing Spiderman, the more I heard about the plans for the movie, the more I became fearful of the final product (seriously, do we need another trilogy to tell a story that was told in a single book?). However, all of these doubts vanished for An Unexpected Journey as soon as the film started.

Martin Freeman gives a brilliant performance as Bilbo Baggins.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is by no means a perfect movie. The film does feel slightly bloated, the pace is much slower than one might expect and it seems a little too kid friendly at times (shattering the mood of certain cool scenes). It is also hard to say that it is a better film than any of the films in the original Lord of The Rings film trilogy.

Overall, however, I thoroughly enjoyed an Unexpected Journey. The visuals were, as to be expected from the environments in Lord of The Rings, spectacular. Even the Orcs, which I was slightly disappointed to learn that they were more CGI animated than their Lord of the Rings counterparts, were still very well animated. The fight scenes were incredible, though some of the camera work was slightly clunky at times. The music for this movie was simply beautiful (which is why I’m linking the main theme at the end of this blog so you can marvel at it as well).

The main thing I really wish to comment on in this review, however, are the changes made to the original plot of the Hobbit. As one might expect, the film does contain a little bit of padding to keep the movie from going through the book too fast. However, despite my initial doubts on The Hobbit films becoming a trilogy, I can ultimately say that An Unexpected Journey does something so rare and so wonderful that I feel pressured to forgive it of all its crimes.

It is better than the source material.

Many of the actors from Lord of The Rings reprise their roles, such as Andy Serkis as Gollum, Christopher Lee as Saruman and Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey.

Now, before I get pelted with giant rocks of hatred and slander from huge Tolkien fans, let me first say that this is solely my opinion and people are free to disagree with this statement if they wish. I am also not saying that the Hobbit was a bad book. For me though, An Unexpected Journey, despite adapting only a third (about) of the original Hobbit story, manages to develop the characters and improve the plot of the original story much better than Tolkien. Whereas in the book, Bilbo’s attachment to the adventuring party is less explained and Thorin, the leader of the dwarves, comes off as just angry for the sake of being angry, over the film, Bilbo gradually becomes connected with the dwarves and his motivations are explored more than the book, where as reasons are also provided for Thorin’s hostile persona. Overall, I can stomach a few odd Radagast the Brown scenes, trolls acting like the three stooges and the odd Frodo cameo solely for that beginning section where we actually see Thorin’s ancient kingdom in its prime and Smaug’s breathtaking first assault.

In conclusion, I loved An Unexpected Journey more than I thought I was going to and I am now incredibly enthusiastic for the more news on the next film in the series.

Example of the film’s brilliant soundtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zakVfDY0xZk