I should have done this a while ago but some people may still be interested.
The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm and showed that a film maker can create something very much like the source material, yet still add their own originality to it and make it accessible to mainstream audiences. Some herald the trilogy as the greatest film series of all time which is a testament to Tolkiens work when some call the novel the greatest story ever told.
The Hobbit had a indescribable hype to live up to. A hype which we cannot judge whether it lived up to until the final instalment in the Hobbit Trilogy. The first film, An Unexpected Journey, was much more light-hearted than the LOTR films. Focussing more on magic and playing out like a fairy tale similarly to Fellowship of the Ring. Though it is a long film, if you have the attention span, it is easily enjoyed and you are never totally lost so long as you pay attention to the magical lore.
The dwarf characters have their own personalities, though they do not have enough screen time (in fact if you can name all the dwarves after the first viewing without prior knowledge that’s impressive) for you to truly absorb their persona. However this I’m sure will be amended when the next 6 hours are released. The orcs and goblins were fleshed out in odd ways too. It felt more like a Narnia or some other fantasy story with the orc leader Azog having much more screen time than was implied in the book, as well as the Goblin King being incredibly animated. In the LOTR books the orcs and Uruk-Hai spoke and sang a lot more than made out in the film and too had their own personalities, this is why the communication between the villains may seem unfamiliar. Most of the enemies appeared to be CGI as well (at least looked it), whilst most villains in LOTR during close ups were actors in suits.
Though at the moment it is not as good as any of the Lord of the Rings films, I do think the light heartedness that stays true to the book is a better approach. Once the trilogy is released it can be it’s own trilogy instead of a spin off of Lord of the Rings. You need not see LotR before seeing this.
However if you haven’t seen LotR and consider yourself a film lover then you need to get in gear and watch the amazing spectacle.
I give The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey a 9/10. A great story, undeniably beautiful and a well made film. A film doesn’t have to be good to be well made and vice versa, however this is both thankfully.