Year of Release: 2012
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Bret McKenzie, Adam Brown
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is without question a film that lives from the spectacle that special and visual effects allow and build. The film is visually stunning and takes the context and style that Peter Jackson developed from his previous trilogy to another level (the 10 years between the films have also allowed for special effects to improve quite dramatically). The main problem with the film is the indulgence in areas of the story that add nothing to it, provide no insight to characters or motivation, and basically exist as a sole purpose to drag the story to no end (and therefore stretch this film to two other parts). Scenes are kept going and going, which add no depth to the story, making the pacing of the film very irregular and make for a very uneven experience. The high points remain the special effects, the production design and the acting which is uniformly good, with Ian McKellen again dominating with his weary and wise eyes. The film ends up being a good example of how the indulgence of means can effectively bring down even the most gifted story teller, which is the case of Peter Jackson.