Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a small creature called a Hobbit, is a quiet man who lives in the shire, content with his mundane existence. One day, Gandalf the Grey (Ian Mckellen), a wizard, turns up on his doorstep and invites him on an adventure. Bilbo rejects the offer and goes back to his boring life, whilst Gandalf invites thirteen dwarves to meet at Bilbo's anyway. The dwarves, led by warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), want to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which is fiercely guarded by a dragon called Smaug. The dwarves set off on their adventure leaving a tingle of temptation on Bilbo who eventually runs off to join the dwarven mob and wizard guide on their quest. With plenty of obstacles along the way, including orcs, goblins, trolls, giant rock men, and Gollum (Andy Serkis) - only life threatening things - the group fight together with bravery, strength, and commonly, stupidity. Gandalf occasionally leaves them for other matters involving a necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his fellow wizards, but always finds his way back to count the dwarves like an exasperated teacher on a school trip. Will Bilbo find the adventure he longs for (and more than he planned) or will he realise it is not his scene and head back to his comfy Hobbit hole?
|Bilbo surrounds himself with Dwarves to seem tall...|
|The first meeting of the Long Haired Club was a huge success|
Apart from the pacing issues, The Hobbit is a well made film. Major fans of The Lord of the Rings will love it regardless as they get a fresh glimpse of Middle Earth and lesser fans will thoroughly enjoy the second half at least. Plus there's plenty of laughs for all the family. An enjoyable, if not long, watch. Bring on the trilogy.
Best Bit? Gollum and Bilbo's intense riddle battle. Not an action scene or anything similar, but an example of how the latter half of the film handles talking-based scenes with tension and dramatic suspense and makes it incredible watch-able, unlike the first half.