After many years of being told I should watch the Lord of the Rings movies (Referred to as LOTR from now on) I have finally started the journey. It is one that will be long, and undoubtedly painful at times. There will be spoilers throughout this series of reviews, so if you are like me and have never seen it before, you have been warned.
Bilbo Baggins is turning 111 years old, and he (Ian Holm) wants to write a letter for his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood) to tell him of the adventures he took part in many years prior. These adventures begin with a wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellan) who showed up at the door of a much younger Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) before having a rather odd conversation and departing. Not before leaving a sign on the door, mind you. And thus, Baggins ends up being the unknowing host of a dinner part of thirteen dwarves. The leader of the group is Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) who is the rightful king of the lonely mountain, the kingdom of Erebor that was taken by the dragon Smaug due to his love of gold. In the process of leaving their homeland and traveling, Thorin’s grandfather Thrór is killed by an Orc named Azog, who lost his forearm at Thorin’s hand and was thought to be dead. The adventure sounds simple in theory; get back to Erebor and defeat Smaug and retake the Lonely Mountain. In practice, they are dealing with obstacle after obstacle, battle after battle. Thorin at first is hesitant of Bilbo, because he is a hobbit and they aren’t exactly known for being warriors.
I’m not going to give you a play by play about the film because I really do believe it is something that needs to be experienced first-hand. It’s a long movie, 3 hours of building a world that you feel like you can just step right into. It is immersive and beautiful, and I found myself wanting to start the second hobbit movie right away. There’s something so peaceful about the universe, and it is so masterfully created that by the end of it, I was actually tearing up when Thorin and Bilbo embrace. It’s a heartwarming scene. Bilbo says something along the way of “I feel that the worst is behind us” and I really do want that to be the truth, even though I have a feeling that it isn’t.
I can’t get over how imaginative the world is, and how beautiful all of the scenes were. When they were in Rivendell? Beautiful. When they were being chased by Goblins? Stunning, despite how tense I was watching the scenes unfold. We also meet Golem for the first time, and we see that Bilbo now has a ring. Since I do not know what happens in the original LOTR trilogy, I have no idea if the ring he possesses is THE ring, but I’m interested to see how that plays out. I also really love the camaraderie between those in the party. Even when they find themselves in tricky situations, they fight together and never seem to give up.
Normally, I am one to stay away from incredibly long movies but I never really felt like I was looking at the clock to see how much time was left. The only time I did that was when I realized it was getting late and I had to wake up early the next morning. But since the movies are so long, I really have to schedule them into my day and plan it out strategically. The entire month of September has been planned for the LOTR movies and the subsequent reviews.
Have you guys seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? What did you guys think of it?