The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Photo courtesy of

Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Featu

Photo courtesy of

In a theater near you, there’s a movie called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Not a complicated, over the top, mediocre film filled plot holes and an oozy smell of a stagnant director, nor a dry, bare movie with nothing to show for itself: it is a Peter Jackson movie, and that means it’s great.

The Hobbit begins with the main character Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit. Hobbits are a race of short, human-like creature that live in The Shire, a small quiet area removed from the doings of the rest of Middle Earth.

The movie opens up with the main character narrating that he has told the truth about his travels with Gandalf and the Dwarfs to Frodo Baggins, his second cousin one-time removed, even though the has not told him everything about his life. And thus begins his retelling of his adventures to The Lonely Mountain.

After directing the Lord of the Rings trilogy and producing District 9, Peter Jackson has proven that he knows what he is doing. However, this is called into question during the first act of The Hobbit, which seems to take an inordinate amount of time establishing characters, motives and mood. Even though the audience gets an idea of why they are starting a quest, it’s quickly pushed aside in favor of worldbuilding. Although, this does pay off in the end of the second and third act because you form a connection to the band of dwarfs and the hobbits when they are attacked by a group of Orcs, a race of grotesque goblin like creatures. At the end of the first attack, you realize that you have been sitting on the edge of your seat, fists clenched, hoping everything has gone well.

Jackson has never had a problem with making a film feel epic, whether it’s the lost Skull Island in King Kong or the sweeping vistas of Rohan in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Hobbit is no exception. The Elvish outpost of Rivendell is fantastically designed, with stone spires and waterfalls everywhere. It looks exactly like what an elvish outpost should look like. But set design and story is the not only area.

The other major selling point of The Hobbit is the composer, Howard Shore. Shore is a master at what he does, creating complex but easy-to-remember melodies. Much like in the original trilogy, the score was a sneak preview of the scene, whether it was a happy cheerful scene or whether or it was a heart-racing, nail-biting action scene.

At the end of the day The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is a wonderful film. It a reminder of why audiences fell in love with The Fellowship of the Ring it’s a light hearted adult movie that respects it source material. Jackson has once again proven that Tolkien’s works are safe in his hands. The first Hobbit movie has proved that there is hope for last two movies of the trilogy.