After the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we have all eagerly been awaiting to venture back to Middle-Earth. Most of the Tolkien fans danced of joy when Peter Jackson announced that the prequel The Hobbit would be poured into 3 movies also. Finally, I had a chance now to see the first part of The Hobbit, called 'An Unexpected Journey'. And it's brilliant.
A lot of criticism mentioned the slow pace of the movie, but that did not bothered me once. What a beautiful role for Radagast, the odd hermit wizard which hardly got any attention in the Tolkien books. The attention to the Tolkien world has again been so intense, that after the movie I dove into the books to check on some details (who were the two blue Istari which Gandalf says he forgot the names of ? Has Radagast really been into Dol Guldur ? And so on). And Martin Freeman is just brilliant as the young Bilbo, wandering around in the magnificent scenery of New-Zealand.
Are there no bad points to give out ? Sure, some of the digital hocus-pocus really disappointed, such as the character of Azog, which always remains rubbery and never comes to life. Also, the goblin cave is just a digital splatterfest, and just feels too crammed and noisy onto the screen. The humor that was so prevalent in the book has been cut down drastically so the movie feels a bit too much of Wagnerian proportions. There has also been taken way more freedom into diverging away from the book : Radagast has never been into Dol Guldur and Galadriel was never mentioned in 'The Hobbit'.
But that's nitpicking.