The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is fantastic. Director Peter Jackson draws upon all the elements of his Lord of the Rings trilogy to create a film that builds on and slots into the existing filmic lore. It’s another adventure through Middle Earth, with meticulously created sets, well-developed characters and jaw-dropping aerial shots.
This film introduces us to a whole new band of warriors. Joining Bilbo Baggins is a slew of confusingly named dwarves who are on a quest to reclaim their homeland, the Lonely Mountain. Although Martin Freeman edges further into the category of ‘Hugh-Grant-esque archetypical actor’ (see Sherlock, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), many claim he is perfect for this role. Also make sure to keep an eye out for Aussie and Kiwi cameos throughout the film.
Jackson has amped up his filming technology, recording at a staggering 5K resolution (enhancing those aerial shots) in 3D, and pioneering the critically-debated 48 per second frame rate. In comparison, movies are usually 24fps and PC games are normally 60fps. This hyper-realistic deviation from the norm leaves some parts of the action a little less violent and a little more video-game cut-scene. The advance is a natural and welcome progression in the cinema world.
Tolkien wrote The Hobbit before the Lord of the Rings trilogy and as such, it was less mature in both style and subject matter, as it was intended as a rollicking escapade for younger readers. In that sense, Jackson certainly does justice to Tolkien, reproducing the story in 3 hours of pure escapism. The opportunity to see it at the IMAX theatre may have passed, but definitely get it on Blu-ray when it comes out.
Rating: 4.5 / 5