It has been 9 years since movie goers visited Middle Earth where director Peter Jackson brought the masterpiece by J. R. R. Tolkien to live on the big screen. Back again where it all started, Peter Jackson will once again recreate the wonderful world of fantasy and adventure that happened 60 years before the events in the first Lord of the Rings movie.
Without giving away too much of the story, the movie follows the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), hired by the wizard Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), to accompany 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Well at least for the first part of the book as it has been divided into 3 movies.
As with the Lord of the Ring movie series, do expect The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to focus more on bringing out the different characters in the movie than all the action with beautiful computer graphics. Not that there isn’t any action in this movie as seen in the trailer, just don’t expect any epic level battles like in The Two Towers and Return of the King.
But what this movie does well is to give even casual fans a good foundation into the series like any good book before developing them later on. Even the company of dwarfs get their moments each and by the end of the movie, it is not hard to have a favorite or two among the 13 of them. Not to mention the younger Baggins whom movie goers should have no problems relating to from his decision to join the quest to that famous scene with Gollum (Andy Serkis).
There has also been talk about the new HFR 3D format that the movie is shown on and complain about slight dizziness with it. While I must say that it took my eyes a while to get used to the new 48 frames per second (as compared to the normal 24), there was never a moment of dizziness during the whole movie. In fact I would recommend that you watch the movie in HFR 3D. Not only does the action seem better but the new 3D also gives more depth to the movie as compared to the usual one plane of “pop up” as seen in other 3D movies.
Overall this is one movie that I would highly recommend to fans of all things Middle Earth. Peter Jackson once again makes very good use of the source material and both the old and new cast does a wonderful job of protraying their characters. Music is once again top notch thanks to Howard Shore and you can be sure the computer graphics and the various locations used will leave you drooling for more.
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
By Kenneth Wong
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