The adventure follows Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim Erebor with the help of Gandalf the Grey and 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer, and a creature that will forever change Bilbo’s life…Gollum. Alone with Gollum, Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Okay, let’s get it over with from the start. This movie do not follow the book in any great detail. Sure it follows the main story arc but there have been a lot, and I mean a lot, of stuff added. However, if you give it the slightest bit of thought, you knew this had to be done. There is simply not enough material in the book to make a decent movie that would satisfy a majority of viewers after they have seen the original Lord of The Rings movies. As we also know that Peter Jackson planned to make more than one movie it was clear that the material had to be expanded on. Normally I am upset when the movie do not follow the book but in this case, it was not really a surprise and there simply was not much choice so there is little point griping about it. Also, more importantly, the main story is not really changed, it is extended.
So with this over with I have to say that this movie is simply great entertainment. It brings back the Lord of The Rings atmosphere which is of course a great thing. The Hobbit wholes, Goblin cities, Orcs, Rivendell the Dwarf city are all just wonderful. I think most people knows the basic story so there is little purpose in dwelling on that. The movie advances the story at a decent pace given all the additional events and action scenes we are treated to. Some of the more thrill-ride-like scenes reminded me a bit of the Indiana Jones movies. You could argue that these where a bit “non-Tolkienesque” but personally I think they didn’t damage the movie.
It was also great to see quite a few of the characters from the Lord of The Rings movies again. Most of them only held short supporting roles of course. One of the characters that returns in a main role is of course Gollum which is one of the few characters that I really do not like. A lot of people seems to somehow like him but I really cannot stand the treacherous slimy little creature. On the other hand it was absolutely wonderful to see Gandalf again.
If I should complain about something it would be that Thorin somehow fails to look like a dwarf in the movie. All the other ones are great but Thorin looks much too big and handsome somehow. I also really didn’t like the ridiculous chase scene between the Warg riders and Radagast the Brown. Come on…rabbits? That was just too silly and is the main reason I didn’t give this movie a 10 out of 10 rating.
On the whole I am, as you can see from the rating, very happy with this movie. It continues telling a Middle Earth story with the right atmosphere, lots of action and splendid special effects.