Hobbit: An Unexpected Experience: Spoiler Free Review

By: 14th Lord

Ah The Hobbit, prequel to the well known trilogy, Lord of the Rings. When I saw Lord of the Rings, while I acknowledge it as an achievement, I never felt grabbed and enticed by it. I know I'm in the minority in my view of this, but I felt that Lord of the Rings was too long winded, and could of used to be cut down by quite a bit. I mention this, because this is important to understand, as The Hobbit explores a different direction. Whereas Lord of the Rings maintained a serious tone of an epic adventure for the fate of Middle-Earth, the Hobbit explores a more fun, light hearted direction.

When the movie starts, we meet Bilbo Baggins, our protagonist of this movie, and the adoptive uncle of our other famous hobbit, Frodo. Lord of the Rings centers around two main Hobbits, while glancing along the strife of the many diverse species of middle earth and their struggle to survive. In contrast, The Hobbit is about just one Hobbit, Gandalf the Grey before he evolves into Gandalf the White like a pokemon, and 13 dwarves. That's about it. Oh yeah and Gollum's there too.

So shortly after the movie starts, we find out Bilbo's writing about his first adventure, since as we learned from the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, he loves them. He writes it in a letter format to Frodo, as Frodo makes his rounds in their little hovel. What we're left to assume is that this movies beginning actually takes place before Lord of the Rings, and the story he's writing about and that we're about to see, takes place a hundred years before even that! Not exactly sure why we couldn't just cut the middle man and start all the way back when the movies supposed to take place, instead of seeing a segment from the past, talking about an even longer ago, uh, past.

Alas, Bilbo illustrates how back when he was a lad of the wee age of 40 something-ish, he was just chilling outside his house when this tall crazy street wizard begins stalking him. He runs and hides in his home, and the scene just gets more horrifying as Gandalf rummages around the Bilbo's home while he peaks out in fear, ending with Gandalf leaving graffiti on his door, because why the fuck not. It isn't until Bilbo actually sets down for dinner that he discovers the graffiti, thanks to some, and by some I of course mean many, strange knockings upon his door.

Bilbo greats his guests, dwarves who proceed to break into his house and eat his food, when there's another knock on the door. He greats these new guests, who're dwarves who break into his house, and steal his food. Again. This continues happening quite a few times until at last their leader Thorin and Gandalf arrive, where we learn Gandalf wants Bilbo, who he's never met before, to risk his life for dwarves who broke in and stole his premium grade food.

Well of course Bilbo, who's better known as Watson in the U.K. agrees. Of course, what else would he do? We already learn he's a adventurer and is on good terms with Gandalf in Lord of the Rings! So off he goes. Throughout their adventure, they get into some amusing life threatening hijinks, as the movie fleshes out back story of the plight of Thorin, the world of Middle-Earth, and Smaug, a Red Dragon who was the sole attacker and destroyer of the Dwarfs capital. Its been like, a hundred years since he attacked because the dwarves were rich and he likes gold, and birds are returning to the mountain, so the Dwarves believe this to be a sign that Smaug is finally dead.

I know at this point, you might of been wondering about the other 12 dwarves thats on this journey, because in a 3 hour long movie, we must have had time to explore a few more of their characters, right? Nope.

The dwarves get quickly named off in a sequence that heavily reminded me of the Disney's snow white and the 7 dwarves, except it's Bilbo Baggins and the 13 Dwarves, and a Wizard. The dwarves are mainly just there, and it's all about Thorin their leader, Bilbo, and Gandalf. Instead of fleshing out these characters, the movie spends its time fleshing out antagonists, from the troll that killed Thorins dad, to "The Necromancer", Sauran, and Even Radagast the Brown who's only mentioned in the book once!

Didn't know who Radagast the Brown was? That's okay, he's not important, well, he wouldn't be if it wasn't the actor who plays him. Sylvester Mother Fucking McCoy. Also more popularly known as the 7th Doctor.

By the way, that's bird shit on the side of his head.

Characters: 7/10
While we do get character moments, and the characters are great, what drags this down is the fact that 12 of the main cast of 15 is extras. Honestly, this story is all about Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf, and oh yeah there's 12 dwarves tagging along. There's one character I want to talk about a bit further with though, Radagast the Brown. I absolutely loved this character to the core. Radagast the Brown we first meet running through the woods like a hippy, tending to the sickly animals, then he gets even crazier, proceeding to outrunning Trolls on Worgs (read massive wolves for horses) on a sleigh carried by Rabbits, all the while laughing and taunting them. He's a very lovable character, but if you go into this movie expecting, and wanting a serious epic like lord of the Rings, this character will sorely bother you.
Plot: 5/10
While the plot isn't bad, it's not exactly, well, involving. Its basically the story of dwarves spending 3 hours making their way to their mountain, while going on wacky hijinks, while foreshadowing Lord of the Rings heavily. While nothing particularly engaging, it's good enough to get the characters in the right places for a fun adventure. Not exactly sure how they really expect to stretch this into 3 movies, but they'll have to be creative to keep it from dragging in the next two.
Fun Factor: 10/10
This is what the movie was entirely about. While many might be disappointing they're not going to be seeing another epic adventure, that's not what the movie, nor the book intends. Instead of an epic story, we're treated with a fun adventure in a diverse world filled with oddities and wonders, while getting to meet beloved characters from lord of the rings, before, ya know, everything goes to shit.
Directing & Casting: 10/10
When I first heard Sylvester McCoy was in this movie, I freaked out and cheered. I immediately figgured he'd just be a random hobbit, since the actor himself, no make up at all, looks like a hobbit! I as well fondly remember him from Doctor Who. Went to see the movie even, dressed up as the 7th Doctor, purely because of that. Not just that, this movie brought out some british all stars, including Bennedict Cumberpatch who played Sherlock to be the voice of Smaug (the Dragon), which we sadly do not get to hear, and Watson to play Bilbo! My only grief with this movie was quite a few of the dwarves, didn't feel stocky enough to be dwarves to me, and the hobbits looked like normal people with furry feet.
Overall: 8/10
Despite being a 3 hour movie with minimal story to speak of, it makes up for that by taking you through a fun adventure, with plenty of comedic and serious moments, while fleshing out the back story of Lord of the Rings. While I can understand people disliking this movie for that exact reason, and a few, and by few I of course mean a ton, of filler scenes, just to pad out the movies running time.

If you want a fun light hearted adventure movie that takes you to a rich and vibrant world, this is the movie for you. If you think such a thing would serve to insult the epic that was Lord of the Rings, stay clear. While I GREATLY enjoyed the movie, I can understand people disliking it for the same reasons.

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