Returning to Middle Earth, but not the Middle Earth we saw in Lord of the Rings. We go much further back than that, we go 60 years before the start of Lord of the Rings and are about to head on an unexpected journey with Bilbo Baggins. We are about to find out how true Bilbo’s tales were and what adventure he had far away from Bag End and The Shire.
Other than a couple of familiar faces we are introduced to many new characters, mainly from the dwarf world. We get to see how the dwarves will do anything to reclaim the mountain they once lived in with no problems at all, that was until the dragon attacked and took it from them. So that’s one thing we know about the lonely mountain from the very start, a dragon is living in it.
Having read The Hobbit over 10 years ago now I am happy to say that certain moments in the film (which I will not spoil) came back to me from the book which I can only say is a very good thing indeed. I very much enjoyed that the first few lines of the book were uttered by an old Bilbo as he was starting to write his story ‘There and Back Again’ linking very very well to the start of Lord of the Rings. Another thing I loved was the little links to LotR and therefore filling in the gaps, I would hate to think of people going to see this film who haven’t seen LotR (can’t be many though) as some things really would be lost with them.
The main character we really get to know throughout this film is Thorin who would be a King of the Dwarves if they can reclaim the lonely mountain. We get quite a lot on his background and wonder if he will ever accept Bilbo as one of the 14 out on the quest.
Bilbo Baggins we saw as an old man (Ian Holm) but now Martin Freeman takes over as a young very spirited Bilbo. I think Freeman does a fantastic job in capturing his innocence whilst managing to keep the mischief and curiosity we have grown to expect from a young Hobbit. This is the first of Bilbo’s films, yet we don’t really get to see too much of him. I liked the approach to making sure we got the key moments so far, whilst letting the audience relate and understand how strange it all is for the Hobbit who had only ever stayed in the Shire. So far from home and in dangerous situations.
I saw this film in 3D with the 48fps, I had heard a lot mentioned about this before seeing the film which made me really fear the worst and thinking that it wasn’t going to be great at all. In the end it wasn’t as bad as I had feared . . . but I am really still not a big fan of 3D anyway. It looked a little strange at first, but didn’t really take very long to get used to, looked pretty realistic – which I think is the idea?
I was starting to wonder how I was going to take this film and how it was going to compare to LotR. Luckily before I managed to convince myself not to expected a whole lot from this film, so that was a good thing as it turned out I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being back in Middle Earth, having Gandalf back and the start of an adventure we had heard small things about in the past.
The new aspect of getting to know the dwarves was a big thing for this film, we are about to spend a lot of time with that race over these films. We see that they love food (and drink) seem to make plenty of jokes and mess about quite a lot but they also love to fight and find getting the mountain back to be very important. I will admit that dwarves have always been my least favorite in Middle Earth but maybe that will change? It’s hard to compete with those Elves!
I might even make an effort to see this film again but in 2D . . . Just to compare and see if the 3D aspect really made much of a difference at all! How did you find an unexpected journey?