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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Film Review

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published December 21st 2012
An Unexpected Journey
the hobbit, an unexpected journey, peter jackson, film, j.r.r tolkien

Last Thursday The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in cinemas. I was hoping to go on the opening day, but it turned out that I my grandpa needed to do some Christmas grocery shopping, so I went with him to help.

Yesterday was my first opportunity after that to go and see the film. I was both excited and nervous about what it was going to be like. Peter Jackson's Lord of The Ring Trilogy is excellent, and I knew that the quality and effort that went into The Hobbit would be the same. Jackson's films, however, are of epic length. The Fellowship of The Ring and The Two Towers are both three hours longs, and The Return of the King is well over that. Although a decade has past since I went to see those films, I distinctly remember how fidgety I was getting halfway through, even though I was enjoying them.

The Hobbit is slightly shorter, at two hours and forty minutes, but I was worried that it was going to drag. That was what most of the reviews I had read said: Great Film. Too Long.

I was pleasantly surprised though. Admittedly it had a slow start, but once things got going, the pace was very steady, and I did not get bored sitting in my seat.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film in director, Peter Jackson's, trilogy. It is based on the prequel novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and is set sixty years before the events of The Lord of The Rings. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit from Bag End, who is drafted by the wizard, Gandalf, and thirteen dwarves to go on an adventure.

The Dwarves are one a quest to reclaim their home, Erebor, after it was sieged by Orcs. Bilbo, the unlikely hero of the story, is hired as a burglar, even though many of the dwarves have doubts in his ability.

At the start of the film, an elderly Bilbo Baggins gives an excessive explanation about how the dwarves lost their home. This voice over needn't have been more than a brief summary, but it seemed to go on forever. A lot of what Bilbo said just washed over me.

Despite the lengthy introduction, things soon picked up. There were many humorous scenes, including the one I call 'The Dwarves Who Came to Dinner', and exciting (if somewhat unbelievable) fight scenes in the Orc caves.

There were one or two superfluous scenes, like the one dedicated to Radagast the Brown wizard, but overall I do not think Jackson put anything unnecessary in.

The film ends with our heroes looking optimistically towards the mountain Erebor, believing the worst is behind them. Little do they know what lies ahead.

I give The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey four stars, and would recommend seeing it.
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Why? Find out what happened before 'The Lord of The Rings'
When: Anytime
Where: In cinemas
Cost: Depends which cinema you go to
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