Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened today, breaking records around the globe. Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images, you might want to think twice before taking your tweens or teens. Filled with battle scenes, images of decapitation, amputation, and repeated stabbing and slashing with swords, it's not for the squeamish.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the prequel to the epic trilogy, Lord of the Rings. This story follows the simple Hobbit Bilbo Baggins who is recruited by a group of Dwarves and Gandalf the Grey to be a burglar on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. They must make it to the Mountain to reclaim their treasure and home stolen by the Dragon Smaug.
I thought this movie was ok, but I only think that’s because I watched the Lord of the Rings when I was 5 and can hardly remember anything about it at all. Plus fantasy films aren’t my thing. However my mother who happens to be a huge Lord of the Rings fan loved the movie.
I do have to give the movie props for the cinematography. I mean, oh my God, the visuals are beautiful!! All of the images are so clear and crisp, I literally felt like I was right there with Bilbo. I especially love the Elf kingdom and the graphics for that are amazing. I can’t even explain with words how beautiful the imagery and 3D are in this film, you just have to see it for yourself. There are a few things that bothered me about the visuals though. Some of it is almost too perfect and too clear. You can see every piece of grass in the field and every pore or drop of sweat on the Dwarves. It is a bit too much. The other thing that pulled me away from the movie is how the Orcs look. They look like videogame characters and they don't have the same quality of the rest of the CGI in the film.
My favorite character in The Hobbit is, by far, Gollum. Even though he is only in one scene of this movie, he is really funny in a creepy way. I really want to go back and re-watch the Lord of the Rings just to see more of him! I also like Bilbo Baggins because everyone doubts him, but he never gives up or turns back. My favorite scene is a toss up between when Bilbo meets Gollum and when the Dwarves are in the underground world of the Goblins. I love when Bilbo meets Gollum because the two of them have a very funny interaction of riddling each other. I also like when the Dwarves are escaping the Goblins because their world is underground and very rickety.
I think the biggest downside of this movie is the length. It is way too long in my opinion, but then again, all of the Lord of the Rings films have been very long as well. If you enjoy the Lord of the Rings then you will love The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but will I see it again? No. So, I will say the cinematography deserves 5 out of 5 stars but, the overall film only gets 3.5 out of 5 from me.
Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Raven Devanney, age 15.