Jordy's Reviews: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
My nephew Jordy, 11, reviews the Hobbit movie so I won't have to...
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is an OK movie. It has good acting, great camerawork, good action scenes, and a good story. (Although it is based off one of the most famous books of all time, so I guess that’s a given.) But for all it does well, it gets some things wrong.
“The Hobbit'’s story is basically a Hobbit (a small creature from the Shire) named Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who goes on an adventure with 12 Dwarfs (small, mining and building creatures) and a wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen) through the dangerous Middle-Earth to take The Lonely Mountain back from Smoug The Dragon. The fire-breathing beast took over the Dwarf empire 60 years ago. Along the way, they encounter a lot of things — namely, monsters, monsters, and monsters. The adapted screenplay also contains some foreshadowing for the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I think is unnecessary. ”The Hobbit“ is fine as a stand-alone adventure just as well as LOTR is. However, the story starts really slow and keeps it that way for about an hour. Then we get action, action, and action. That is bad pacing.
The movie has what you’d expect from a high-budget film: good acting, some great camera shots (especially with the background), some comedic moments, stuff like that. However, what it’s missing that ”The Lord of the Rings“ had is some amazing special effects. A few of the things look fake in it. It’s just not nearly as good as LOTR was with the special effects, even though those movies were made a decade ago. Those movies had amazing special effects that few movies can match even now.
Also, a lot of the characters in ”The Hobbit“ represent a certain characteristic. The Dwarves are the tough, partying but lovable people, the Hobbits are the simple folk, Thorin is the serious one, and Gandalf is the calm one. It is done extremely well in this world of creatures we dreamed existed. (Except for Orcs. I hate those guys.)
For heroic people, they seem to do a lot of running away in the movie. Almost every time some creature comes, Gandalf says “Run!” and a rule of survival is that if an all-powerful wizard runs away, you should too. The epic music makes me not care too much about the running away, though.
They also overuse slow-motion. In almost every action scene, there’s a slow-motion shot that is completely unnecessary. This is what I call the Michael Bay effect. The movie is very good in HD and it will not be the same at home as it is in the theater. The humor also goes well with the movie, not too much so that it will feel like the movie is trying to make you laugh, but like real life, where every 2 hours or so something funny happens. My favorite scene was the game of riddles between Gollum and Bilbo. It was slow, dramatic, suspenseful.
Now for what I despise the most about the movie. I don’t like that there are three films. We don’t need three films to tell the story of The Hobbit! That’s just stupid! Each Lord of the Rings book got one movie, and that was it. The Hobbit, the shortest book of the four, mind you, has three movies going for it? That’s like Gandalf casting a magic spell tripling the money! What the heck! I also don’t like how hyped the movie got. It was by the same person, Peter Jackson, that made Lord Of The Rings, and all three LOTR were great, so it got extremely hyped. It’s an example of what hype does to a movie: raises our expectations too far.
Finally, the ending was bad. It’s hard to end a movie that will have a sequel picking up on it, but they had a perfect ending going for it (which I won’t spoil) but they went and ruined it by adding something else. You’ll probably know what I mean if you see the movie.
Overall, ”The Hobbit" is only OK. It has some good things going for it, but it disappoints in too many others for it to be great. I recommend you see it if you have seen LOTR, because you will find it entertaining even with all its problems.
Okay For 10+ (There are some scary monsters throughout the movie, and it does have a lot of action involved.)
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard