Keep It Reel Reviews

Reel People. Reel Reviews.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)


Rated: PG-13

2 hrs 46 min

Staff Writer: Nathaniel Brayton


After a wait of almost 10 years, the first installment of The Hobbit Trilogy is finally here. And while The Hobbit is a good movie, I believe that An Unexpected Journey will fall slightly short of your expectations.

If I could have changed one thing about The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, it would be to remove the scene where Legolas is sliding down the stairs on a shield while shooting orcs. The cartoonish nature of that moment always takes me out of the experience. However, there are far too many scenes like that in An Unexpected Journey that are plain silly and play to a very young audience. The two most atrocious examples of this are Radagast, The Brown Wizard, who travels on a sleigh powered by bunnies, and the escape scene from the goblins, which reminded me of a Rube Goldberg contraption.

While Radagast’s character was very interesting and unique, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of The Crystal Skull when Shia LaBeouf is swinging with the monkeys.

Also, the CGI of certain characters looked a little fake. However, there were other times when the CGI was stunning. The introduction to the Lonely Mountain and the mines was breathtaking. Avatar only wishes it could look that good. So, overall I am split on the CGI. I am a fan of practical effect and I wish there was more in The Hobbit.


There were a lot of good things about this film as well. I am a fan of all the dwarves and each of their unique personalities. It was great hearing their songs and seeing their past. The movie also does a great job with the two most memorable scenes in the book, the trolls and the first meeting with Gollum. The game of riddles played out just how I imagined and with exceptional acting.

Also, I very much enjoyed how humbled Gandalf was in this film. The Dwarves don’t really think that much of him, Bilbo had to be reminded about who he was, and you can tell he is still not fully respected by many others since his opinions get shot down quiet often. The story of The Hobbit is how he gains his credibility in a sense.

If The Hobbit had not targeted such a young audience and stuck to being serious, then the quality would have greatly increased. This movie is supposed to be an epic, not a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. However, it is still a good movie worth seeing because there are parts that make you say wow, and the story is timeless.


out of 10

I saw this in normal 2D 24 FPS.

“I would take each and every one of these dwarves over the mightiest army!”


3 thoughts on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

  1. The book had less of a serious tone than LOTR did, what did you expect?

    Children? Are you familiar with Tolkien and the history of his books? The Hobbit was a story from middle earth for his CHILDREN. The quality of his work means it is enjoyed by children and adults alike and the lore so strong it birthed LOTR.

    Do some research before making such statements and comparing this to POTC.

    Shaking my head

    • Thank you for you feedback and opinion! Comments, especially ones that challenge our review are always welcome here.

      In response to your comment, I expected a serious movie. I think that just because it’s a book for kids, it doesn’t have to be silly and ridiculous. And I’m judging the film here, not the book. The moments that I talked about didn’t fit in with the rest of movie. There were these moments of epic proportions offset by quick slapstick humor, like the goblin King falling on top of the group. I don’t know why children can’t enjoy a great story without all of that cheesy humor?

      I don’t think my statement comparing this film to POTC was very bold at all. And that is not an insult to The Hobbit; I really enjoy the POTC franchise, especially the first movie. In fact, some parts of POTC might be more dark and less humorous than The Hobbit.

      And I have read all of the LOTR and The Hobbit. It has been a while, about ten years. And I remember the epic story, not the bunny-mobile.

      • You don’t remember slap stick moments like the dwarves collapsing in to bagend, all of the songs etc?

        If anything Jackson actually embelished elements of the story (such as the orc hunting thalin being more of a personal vendetta, emphasising the necromancer creating the wraiths to forbode LOTR) to make the story grander than the books.

        Maybe you’re remembering the book through LOTR tinted glasses. It’s much more a fantasy adventure than an epic.

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