Bum numbing but ultimately worth it, An Unexpected Journey is an epic undertaking. This adaptation of the Tolkien classic does meander in the first half, but gets into a much higher gear in the the second half.
The film uses Bilbo’s need to record his previous adventures as a setup, and introduces us to a younger Bilbo played fantastically by Martin Freeman, as well as a younger Gandalf and the band of Dwarves who are looking to reclaim their homeland.
The highlight for me has to be Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum. Serkis is amazing, with his ticks, mannerisms and seamless switch between Smeagol and Gollum mesmerising. The interplay between Gollum and Bilbo is fantastic. Hobbitses!
There are 13 Dwarves, and I’ll be honest, I can’t remember their names and I couldn’t tell them apart half the time. But they make for a entertaining bunch, with Richard Armitage and James Nesbitt standing out.
I’m not a big fantasy fan, and felt very ‘meh’ on my way to the cinema. In the end however, I went on an unexpectedly pleasing journey.