Thursday, 3 January 2013

Blasting on Metacritic Users 3: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

This new blog series titled "Blasting on Metacritic Users" is about metacritic.com users who overrates or underrates a movie, TV show, game or music and just how wrong they are. Today, we're taking a look at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It scored an overall 8.2/10 based on 1946 ratings according to metacritic (the scores can easily change) which indicates "universal acclaim", obviously way overrated and this article is going to explain why this movie is more of a 5/10. If you strongly agree with this review, you can help bring the ratings down by submitting a negative rating on the website. A review is optional!
Theatrical release poster
Set in Middle-earth sixty years before The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, and his journey, accompanies by thirteen dwarves, across Middle-earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.

Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth with another trilogy, that serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, based on Tolkien’s novel, The Hobbit, but here’s the question? The novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is longer than The Hobbit but that film was adapted into a two-parter so why make another trilogy, based on one novel, when you can just adapt the novel into one film, or two at most?

Oh, of course, money! It’s all about trying to top up the box office success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy for Peter Jackson, and fans don’t seem to realize this. The Hobbit does not match the standard that was set in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It may not be the same film franchise, as fans keep mentioning all over the internet, but it’s certainly very similar in terms of the film’s setting, characters and visual style.

Just like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the movie suffers from a long running time. But without the emotional and engaging storytelling that The Lord of the Rings trilogy has, The Hobbit just seems to drag on and on with its slow pacing.

The Hobbit uses a higher frame rate and it’s the first film to use 48 frames per second instead of the standard 24 frames. It may improve 3D footage but it doesn't add any value to the movie viewing experience so is it really necessary? Some scenes looks great, just like Peter Jackson’s many other films, but at times, it looks like the actors are on set rather than a scene. It can be hard to get use to but fans will hardly notice.

The special effects are amazing, just like they were in The Lord of the Rings, but The Hobbit is missing Peter Jackson's combination of practical and special effects that makes the orcs so realistically terrifying that the orcs in this movie look a little cartoonish. This is probably to cut down on budget cost but surely this movie will make billions or, at least, generate more than enough profit at the box office. The music score is also amazing, evoking memories of The Lord of the Rings.

It just shows that Peter Jackson relies too heavily on visual effects nowadays that his most recent films are lacking. One of which is The Lovely Bones, a film which lacks the majesty of the novel that made it such a huge success. Another is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a film, as mentioned earlier, that’s too similar to but does not match the quality set by The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Peter Jackson is still a worthy director, considering every film he has ever directed, but if he keeps this charade up, then he won’t be.

The film’s cast are short of any complaints, with standout performances from Sir Ian McKellen, as Gandalf, and Martin Freeman, as Bilbo Baggins. Andy Serkis's voice acting, as Gollum, is fantastic as always and Richard Armitage was also spot on in his role, as the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. This makes him the most memorable dwarf out of the 13 and the rest feels like they were just stuffed in as there's not a lot of character development compare to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It’s great to see hobbits on a quest across Middle-earth once again but The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is no excuse to revive the “Middle-earth franchise”, just like The Bourne Legacy, a film that tries to revive The Bourne franchise, and The Amazing Spider-Man, a film that tries to revive The Spider-Man franchise, though these two films are pretty decent overall. But in the end, all these films are really unnecessary and we can live without it. It just shows that Hollywood have no new ideas, as many people might have speculated, and has to resort into rebuilding the franchise that should have been left alone when it ended satisfactorily.

In conclusion, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will please fans. For them, the only reason to watch this film is “Hobbits”. The fine performance from its cast does not quite make up for its slow pace, irritating high frame rate and long running time. The film may not have high hopes, and it’s not entirely terrible, but being too similar to The Lord of the Rings, it’s such a disappointment. Hopefully, Peter Jackson will realize what he has done wrong in this film before continuing with the trilogy.

5/10