Rating: 8 out of 10
A return to the glorious world of Middle Earth, a land full of Elves, Orcs, Trolls, Wizards, Dwarfs and, of course, Hobbits. Middle Earth was the setting for JRR Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings trilogy, to which the stand alone book The Hobbit, was a prequel.
The Hobbit begins with the introvert Bilbo Baggins of Bag End hearing a knock on his door, from the eccentric wizard Gandalf, who he swiftly sends away. But that night, much to the surprise of Bilbo, he plays host to a party of 13 rowdy dwarfs, who promptly raid his food stocks.
The dwarfs are there for a reason; they are going on an adventure to reclaim their ancestral homeland of the Lone Mountain, which was taken by the last of the great dragons, Smaug. They are looking for a burglar to share in their adventure, and Gandalf has recommended Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit.
After the party is over, the group set out for a series of battles, narrow escapes and the final confrontation with Smaug in the climax of the third movie of the trilogy.
As with The Lord of The Rings, this movie is not particularly about the characters, but concentrates mainly on a strong plot line and string of dramatic, special effect laden, battle scenes. In terms of plot line, The Hobbit is reasonably strong, with enough twists and turns along the way to keep you in suspense. For lots of intense, lengthy battle scenes, The Hobbit is a stand out. However, at times, some of the sequences are a little too outlandish, a little too much of a fantasy, which detracts from the excellent special effects.
Obviously, The Hobbit is adapted from a book, which always means that there are some people who are unhappy with the resulting movie. Personally, having read the book before I saw the movie, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of Peter Jackson's work. There are enough similarities with the book to ensure that the film is accurate, but, pleasingly, there are also enough differences that people who have read the books don't know exactly what is going to happen next.
On the whole, The Hobbit is a top quality fantasy movie, full of all the grand battles and mystic events that you would expect. Certainly, if you happen to be a fan of The Lord Of the Rings, then The Hobbit movies are for you.