The hit new movie that received over 265 million dollars domestically and my absolute praise, *The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey* begins a bit slow. Photo credit: Newline Cinema
A good 45 minutes was spent building up the back-story of The Hobbit, lacking action, but is necessary to understand the film. In the fourth installment of the Lord of the Rings series, Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) chooses Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), an ordinary hobbit who enjoys leisurely activities and lives a relaxed life in the Shire, to go on, well, an unexpected journey.
The goal of this life-threatening adventure? To retrieve treasure stolen from a kingdom of dwarves, now guarded by the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Together, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and a group of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) embark on an expedition that will test loyalties and redefine the meaning of the word *dangerous.*
The film then quickly turns to a fast-paced fantasy film, which resembles *Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,* the first film of the series that started it all in 2001. While on this mystical journey through an unknown land, the audience learns about the different friendships and rivalries that ignite fierce battles and heroic acts of courage. The director Peter Jackson masterfully exhibits his intended emotions through a mixture of lighting, sound, a stunning IMAX setting, and prestigious acting exhibited through the believable acting of well-known and beloved actors.
When all is said and done, there is one major flaw in the film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien*s well-renowned novel. If you never read the novel version of "The Hobbit," you would not realize this, but the movie has a few noticeable differences to the book. This includes characters in the movie that were never introduced in the book, such as wizard Radagast the Brown, character appearances changed to fit the *Hollywood* image, for example, making the hobbits less rotund and elderly as portrayed in the books, and changing the personalities and incentives of characters to fit a somewhat different storyline.
Besides some inconsistency between the novel and book, the movie has it all! A pinch of humor here and there, well-paced battles and moral lessons that teach you that it is not always best to take the safe road because sometimes it*s more important to do what your heart tells you is right.
It all comes down to this: a fight between good and evil, which was expertly presented in the movie adaptation, *The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.*
I give this movie four out of five stars, and I can*t wait for more! Count me in for the sequel, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which will be released in 2013.