About The Movie:
On his 111th birthday, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins decides to write down the full story of the adventure he took 60 years before for his nephew Frodo. Bilbo writes about how, prior to his own actual involvement, the Dwarf Thrór becomes King of Erebor and brings an era of prosperity to his kin until the arrival of Smaug the dragon. Smaug destroys the nearby town of Dale before driving the Dwarves out of Erebor and taking their horde of gold. Thrór's grandson, Thorin, sees King Thranduil and his Wood-elves on a nearby hillside and is dismayed to find them taking their leave rather than aiding his people.
Following this, Bilbo is tricked by the wizard, Gandalf the Grey, into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of Dwarves, which doubles as Bilbo's recruitment as the Dwarves' "burglar" to help them steal their treasure back from Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly joins the company on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. The group gets captured by Trolls, but Bilbo is able to stall the Trolls from eating them until dawn, when Gandalf saves the company by exposing the Trolls to sunlight, turning them into stone. They search the Trolls' cave and find treasure and Elven blades. Thorin and Gandalf each take an Elf-made blade—Orcrist and Glamdring, respectively—with the latter finding an Elven shortsword, which he gives to Bilbo.
The group then encounter Radagast the Brown, a wizard who lives in Greenwood. He tells them of an encounter at Dol Guldur with anecromancer who has been infesting the forest with dark magic. The group is then chased by Orcs on Wargs, with Radagast covering their escape. Gandalf leads them through a stone passage to Rivendell as the Wargs and Orcs above are slain by Elven riders led byLord Elrond. Elrond discloses the map's indication of a secret door that will be visible only on Durin's Day. Gandalf talks with theWhite Council—Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman the White—about his involvement with the Dwarves, expressing his suspicion that the necromancer Radagast encountered is none other than the Dark Lord Sauron. The others are skeptical, believing Sauron to have been defeated forever, and that this necromancer is not a true threat.
Against the Council's wishes, Gandalf sends Bilbo and the Dwarves towards the Misty Mountains. While passing through the mountains, Bilbo and the Dwarves are captured by Goblins and taken to their leader, the Great Goblin. Bilbo is separated from the Dwarves and falls into a cave where he encounters Gollum, who accidentally drops a mysterious ring while killing a stray Goblin to feed on. Picking up the ring and placing it in his pocket, Bilbo finds himself confronted by Gollum. They play a riddle game, wagering that Bilbo will be shown the way out if he wins, or eaten by Gollum if he loses. After Bilbo wins by asking Gollum what he has in his pocket, Gollum realizes Bilbo has stolen the ring and attacks him. Bilbo discovers the ring grants him invisibility and evades a furious Gollum, following him to find the way out. Bilbo prepares to kill Gollum, but relents out of pity, and escapes.
Meanwhile, the Great Goblin reveals to the Dwarves that Azog, an Orc war-chief who beheaded Thrór and lost his forearm to Thorin in battle at the abandoned Dwarven city of Moria, has placed a bounty on Thorin's head. By this time, Gandalf arrives and saves the Dwarves from the Goblins, killing the Great Goblin during their escape. Bilbo finds the exit and rejoins the group, keeping the ring he found secret. The group is then ambushed by Azog and his hunting party, and take refuge in trees. Thorin charges Azog, but is defeated and knocked to the ground. Bilbo saves Thorin from being decapitated by the Orcs before the group is saved by Eagles, who fly them to safety on the Carrock. Gandalf heals the unconscious Thorin, who acknowledges Bilbo for his bravery. The party see their destination, the Lonely Mountain, in the distance, where Smaug awakens.
What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:
The Hobbit settles into its own enjoyable rhythm, a comic adventure that's a good enough excuse to make a return visit to Middle Earth. If you can convince yourself to stop comparing it to Lord of the Rings (not that the movie actually encourages that). I like that we fine a far less than willing Bilbo than the wide-eyed Frodo when it came to taking on the adventure across Middle Earth. I liked the scenes when the group stumbles upon a mean group of hungry mountain trolls and Bilbo finally find his purpose, digging into the awkward group dynamics and setting up Bilbo's redemption for being seen as a coward in Thorin's eyes.
The giant battle scene against Smaug the dragon is being saved for the next film, but we at least get an impressive cavern full of goblins to run away from, not to mention the return of Gollum, whose "riddles in the dark" scene is riveting, and Andy Serkis' performance as remarkably nuanced as ever. Some story elements are added from the book to give more of a sense of epic continuity, like a flashback to Smaug's takeover of the dwarves' mountain and a scene with Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) warning of Sauron's potential rise.
I saw An Unexpected Journey in the much-touted 48 frames per second and in IMAX 3D, an experience I recommend, but maybe only on second viewing. It took some adjusting to the look, which makes everything feel more real and closer to you, an effect that's worth watching when seeing giant trolls or goblins or even a band of tiny dwarves.