At some point in the beginning of this grand adventure, the ever wise and headstrong Gandalf played ever so graciously by Sir Ian McKellen, says, “all good tales deserve embellishment”. Seemingly this would reveal the mind set that the stupendous Peter Jackson, the director of this film as well as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, has employed for this escapade.

Peter Jackson is known as one heck of a faithful director, as his Lord of the Rings films were literally a visual illustration of the books. Unlike most directors who would use the source material as either guidelines or decidedly spice up or tone down certain elements of the story, Jackson looks to make the most entertaining and faithful adaptation of the source material as possible.

The first 45 minutes of the film pays testament to his faithfulness as we get introduced to Bilbo Baggins who is brought to life by Martin Freeman bringing a sense of nervousness, discomfort and intrigue to the role. This little introduction to our young adventurer whines on for a bit too long, as we introduced to the Dwarves who Baggins reluctantly receives into his home. For the most part, this part of the film is quite soporific.
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel

Once we get past the introductions, the film springs to life as Baggins springs out of his home and runs after the dwarves to join in on a memorable adventure.

There and Back Again, is aided by amazing visuals, which numbs the senses and totally envelopes you into the fantastical, mythical, magical world that is Middle Earth. Jackson this time around decided to shoot this film in 3D while enhancing the experience by filming in 48fps, instead of the 24fps, which is the norm.

48fps has seemed to be quite the divisive topic, has many either hated it or loved it. I for one loved it! At first the experience could be quite jarring as the clarity of the film is really something to behold, especially in 3D. The realism of the world is exponentially enhanced by 48fps, however there are times that CG effects as well as some of the cheaper materials used for some of the props and sets are a little too obvious. However, seeing that this is the first film to implement this technology we sure moving forward it will only get better and that the production team will find other ways to blend the artificial with the natural.

One thing that I was disappointed to see was the newly designed Orcs, who went from these superb creatures created by a talented group of Make-Up Artist who brought their gritty, devilish faces to life, where as now they are less intimidating CG caricatures.   

Andy Serkis as Gollum
Unlike the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, is much more of a fun, humor filled adventure and rightfully so. As The Hobbit was never as huge of an epic tale as the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. Yet our group of adventurers still have to find their way around Orcs, Trolls, Wolves and Mountainous Monsters.

Unlike the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which was based on a trilogy of hefty Novels, The Hobbit, is only based on lighter solitary tale, which Jackson first divided into two films, now will be divided into a trilogy. For hardcore fans that are devoted to the franchise, they will be concerned about how this book will be divided as seemingly not that much happens within the narrative that would warrant another trilogy.

As Jackson is a Middle Earth enthusiast, he proved that he could make it work, as he had it his disposable, the appendices, JR Tolkien’s original notes for the Book, as well as other notes Tolkien made on Middle Earth. It would seem that Jackson would be taking full advantage of these extra tidbits of information as he looks to bring us another classic adventure.

While The Hobbit: There and Back Again, definitely is a great film, I wouldn’t call it an instant classic. Although once the trilogy is complete, it could certainly be as classical as its classic trilogy ancestor. The film certainly felt prolonged, although once we got re-introduced to such characters as Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), and Saruman (Christopher Lee) it certainly proves a wonderful ploy by the director to remind fans that this story is in the same world as Lord of the Rings.

Gollum played by the ever-magnificent Andy Serkis, certainly brought the story to a more then satisfying conclusion as his performance proved once again that schizoid Gollum is the stuff of shrewd nightmares.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is certainly a welcomed lighter addition into the dark world that is Lord of the Rings, with its spectacular enticing visuals, aesthetics and its fun, wild adventure you will certainly be excited for what’s still to come.

Our Rating


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