The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

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Gandalf “volunteers” an unassuming hobbit to aid a dwarf prince in reclaiming his once great kingdom, lost to a terrifying dragon.

Peter Jackson delves once more into the world of Middle Earth in this story set many years before the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but it becomes increasingly obvious that the source material is stretched to the very limit. The plot, such as it is, is nothing more than the group travelling to a mountain and being chased along the way by a tag team of cartoon monsters. Once again Jackson displays a penchant for allowing narrative story telling to take a back seat to unnecessary visual spectacle, with the escape from the goblin caves in particular just looks like someone playing a level from a video game. The flimsy plot, songs and sentimentality combines with a saturation of CGI to make the film feel more like an animated feature than a live action film but likeable performances from Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman ensure that the first instalment of The Hobbit saga is an enjoyable enough, if over long fairy tale.

The Lord Of The Rings for kids, basically.

6/10

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