The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is on one level highly flawed, the visuals are peculiar. Everyone has an overly polished edge- something that a lot of fantasy movies suffer from. I've never understood this, why oh why if the characters are travelling through mud and dirt do they always look so clean and tidy?
The movie also suffers far too much from one too many Orc battles.
However Jackson's take on the Hobbit has some real charm as well. Martin Freeman is an inspired choice as Bilbo instantly drawing in on the audience and has some really endearing moments. As he races out off to join the dwarves on their quest shouting "I'm off on an adventure!" The audience races with him.
Ian Mckellen also deserves some credit. He works far better as Gandalf in this movie than in Lord of the Rings- one reason for this is he is actually allowed to be funny.
I also think Richard Armitage works very well as Thorin Oakenshield, Thorin is a difficult part to play. He is terribly serious, bitter and is touched by something that destroyed his own forefathers i.e. greed.
Thorin could be very boring to watch on screen but Armitage does an admirable job, making Thorin tragic and sympathetic rather than dull.
The film is a lot of fun to watch and a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, but it will not go down as one of the all time greats in cinema history. It will be a fond memory rather than an iconic moment.