After years of waiting, its finally time to return to Middle Earth. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the last fanboy release of 2012, and like The Dark Knight Rises, was it worth the wait? Yes and No. The overall film experience was incredibly enjoyable. The film is always pleasing to look at, the acting was superb, and it was just nice returning the world that Peter Jackson first brought us to in 2001. In all honesty, my favorite parts of the film were the parts with the characters from The Lord Of The Rings. The meeting with Elrond, Saruman and Galadriel, the riddle scene with Gollum, but my favorite scene was in the beginning, where Ian Holm and Elijah Wood (Bilbo and Frodo respectively) are in Bagend and Bilbo is recounting, to himself, the events that made him a legend and begins writing his book. An overwhelming rush of nostalgia came crashing through and tears fell from my eyes. It felt great coming back. But this, unfortunately, soon became a running theme throughout the film, as I really felt a severe case of the "been-there-done-that". While I said the visuals were top notch, the CG is still stuck back in 2001. I have never been a fan of CG, and not to say that it is shitty, but I'm not wowed like I should be, like I was when I first saw Fellowship. The CG backgrounds were nice, just the creatures were a little too fake looking. This is, however, a minor complaint, because of my personal preference, and because I love fantasy films, which have all, but seemingly, disappeared from mainstream Hollywood films. The only CG that I actually really liked was the fight between the 2 stone giants, because I thought that was a great fantasy creature. The make up, the production design, as well as the cinematography, was beautiful.
Now, the no that I had was that the film wasn't an entirely satisfying experience. As opposed to The Fellowship Of The Ring, which felt like a thoroughly satisfying film, with its own resolutions and a largely rewarding climax, this film really felt unfinished. Another example was the split of the final Harry Potter films, which were satisfying as their own films. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this film, but I was left wanting, not because I craved more, but because I felt a bit ripped off by the lack of overall story being told.
My final consensus is, it is definitely a big film (both in grandeur and length) with nice visuals and fantastic acting, but it seems unnecessarily padded with nostalgia just so the studios can try and replicate the success of the original trilogy. Its wonderful coming back to Middle Earth, but its not quite the film that it should be because it was split into 3. I say give it a watch regardless, because it is a well told story and a fun one.