The Hobbit is definitely worth reading, but if you find its 305 pages a little daunting then Peter Jackson’s new release will do just as well. The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey carries all of Tolkien’s original elements along with adding a few twists of its own: new characters and dark suspense connect it to Lord of the Rings, yet it still carries The Hobbit book’s plotline in a way Tolkien fans would appreciate.
Martin Freeman masterfully portrays the young and respectable Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who has never had an adventure and certainly never plans to. All of that is about to change when Gandalf the wizard shows up with a crowd of dwarves. They invite Bilbo to be the “burglar” and join them on their adventure to slay the dragon Smaug. It takes a long time for Bilbo to accept but he eventually runs after them and finds himself in an adventure across Middle Earth.
Thorin the Dwarf is heir to the Lonely Mountain. Only by slaying the dragon Smog will he come to his inheritance and he, like the other Dwarves, have been wandering for years and waiting for the right moment to return. Bilbo, on the other hand, has never even left the Shire. He would like nothing more than to be back at home; everything about the adventure makes him uncomfortable. Eventually he realizes that just as he belongs home, the Dwarves belong to the Lonely Mountain. He chooses to help them find their way home even when he has the opportunity of turning back.
Tolkien’s book is simply a jovial tale about a Hobbit, thirteen Dwarves and a wizard going to slay a dragon; it gives little hint to The Lord of the Rings besides Gollum’s ring. The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey points more strongly to The Lord of the Rings and brings out some of the implications of the book that a reader may overlook. Many scenes point to the Necromancer rising to power and I’m curious as to how they will conclude this semi-plot in this series.
Peter Jackson has successfully made this movie more invigorating than his previous ones, switching back between action and dialogue skillfully and keeping the audience dedicated to the characters and story line. I expectantly wait for the release of the next movie in December.