For whatever reason, I didn’t manage to get to the cinema when The Hobbit was on. It’s a shame because, being a huge fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy (and the books, I read the books first..). Its one of those films that is so visually epic that its worth seeing on the big screen, even if cinema prices are on the same level as public transport in being grossly overpriced.
The films tells the story of a younger Bilbo Baggins, his first meeting with Gandalf and the adventure which lead to his discovery of the ‘one ring’. Martin Freeman is the perfect choice for Bilbo, he has the quaint, small town look about him, whilst being full of wonder, and terror at the world outside.
If you’ve watched The Lord of the Rings as much as I have, you’ll find the scenes a little repetitive. The passage through the mountains before Moria just swaps snow for rocks, and there’s a point where the scenery is recognisable as part of Rohan, when its not supposed to be. The soundtrack is too familiar as well, what was subtle in the trilogy becomes too obvious in this prequel, i.e. you start to realise, this is the sound for the ring, this is the sound for The Shire..
The effects are well done, and its a nice touch having the Elves looking noticeably younger. Radagast the brown wizard is also a brilliant new addition. There’s a few good scenes, particularly involving trolls, but its not until the party reaches Moria that it really starts to take hold. Gollum is fantastic as always, particularly in a more human light, for a few brief moments.
If you’re a fan of the trilogy, you’ll probably like this film. Let’s just hope the future two films move in a more original direction.