A little late, I admit, but I can't just let such a monumental trailer slip by without my most humble of dissections. Yes, we shall be returning to Middle-Earth this December when Peter Jackson's highly anticipated prequel to the epic Lord of The Rings trilogy finally hits cinemas, in an unprecedented level of 3D with 48 Frames per Second (that's good). Without further a-do, here's the synopsis for any Shire dwellers out there less acquainted with the tale:
"The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers." - Warner Bros
And prepare to get all goose-bumpy with the trailer to rule them all:
Now prepare to get all knowledgeable with my breakdown:
- 0:12 - Ah, even that music (produced once more by Howard Shore) takes me back... Especially when we can see the welcome return of Frodo (Elijah Wood) and an old Bilbo (Ian Holm), standing Hobbitly in the Shire during this prologue scene. The film is, after all, going to be seen through their eyes as they read of Bilbo's past escapades.
- 0:23 - And so we come to the real star of this story, a young Bilbo Baggins, marvellously captured by fan favourite, Martin Freeman (of Sherlock fame). Of course, pipes are a-go-go, as well as everyone's favourite wizard, Gandalf the Grey (Sir Ian McKellen).
- 0:29-0:33 - Hobbits can only really ride ponies, as Bilbo demonstrates, while he gathers stock around the Shire markets with that awfully long list the Dwarves give him at the beginning, seen at 0:32. From these short clips alone, it's easy to see why Freeman got the role; looks the part, sounds the part and can really nail the humourous elements of Tolkien's and Jackson's writing.
- 0:35-0:50 - It's Dwarf time! This recreation of the memorable first chapter in which the 13 Dwarves accompany Bilbo for an impromptu party looks very true to form and we get to see each of them (briefly) in action. First up is the youngest of the troupe, brothers Fili and Kili, the latter you may recognise as Being Human's Aidan Turner. Smoking Oin is next, followed by Gloin (father of Gimli!), and then the brutal Dwalin and look-out Balin. Next is the three cousins, Bifur, funny-guy Bofur (James Nesbitt) and the comically enormous, food consumer Bombur. Nearly there now, with the brothers Ori, Nori and Dori, each with their own physical traits. And finally we have their leader, the mighty Thorin Oakenshield, played by another British actor, Richard Armitage.
- 0:55-1:15 - As well as all being kick-ass in battle, the group can also lay down some awesome bassy tunes. This is where the spine-shivers start, people, as the Dwarves eerily recite the classic "Over The Misty Mountains", one of many of Tolkien's compositions. Jackson has promised there'll be a greater focus on the music lore of the book, and this definitely backs that claim.
- 1:19 - Gandalf on his own? This looks like one of the many new scenes created for the film, that fill us in on why the hell Gandalf keeps wandering off. Looks like trouble... Could it be the Necromancer, which has been confirmed as turning up at some point (in the shape of Sherlock himself, Benedict Cumberbatch!)...
- 1:24 - Bilbo finds the broken sword at Elrond's home in Rivendell, another early part of the book.
- 1:31 - Wait, what? Gandalf and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), romance sub-plot!? That's certainly... new. Not sure whether to be intrigued by this new angle, or grossed out...
- 1:36 - More Gandalf "lone-wolving".
- 1:43 - Bilbo draws, for the first time, the legendary sword, Sting, the very same weapon Frodo adopts in years to come.
- 1:50 - Alright, let's kick this into high gear. With increased tempo (and trumpets) comes those beautiful scenic shots of Middle Earth, also known as New Zealand, as the gang head up toward the daunting Misty Mountains.
- 1:58 - Who exactly is Gandalf fighting in these shots? Necromancer? Goblin/Orc?
- 1:59 - If you pause quickly you'll see some of the dwarves rushing the Trolls from the book's early stages. Mutton, ahoy!
- 2:01 - And if you pause again here you'll see (SPOILER ALERT) Gandalf casting that great beam of searing light to turn those aforementioned trolls to stone. (SPOILER OVER)
- 2:02 - The Dwarven floods wreak havoc on Bilbo's homely hole.
- 2:12 - Recognise that bit of bling? Yup, that's the One Ring alright. Looking somewhat younger here too - it's amazing what movie magic can do these days.
- 2:25 - A familiar voice... Riddle games with Gollum (Andy Serkis, no less) are sure to be tense...
- 2:29 - December 14th 2012. Luckily just before the apocalypse, allowing you to see it roughly 21 times before we all die. And don't forget that 3D, because this could be just what the tired gimmick needs to revitalise.
Yes it's still nearly a year out, but you can't rush perfection. Plus this is only the first part, with the second coming one year later, in There and Back Again (which was the title of Bilbo's finished book in the story). This part alone is already running on odds of 3-1 to win a whopping 11 Oscars next year, following in the footsteps of The Return of The King. So until December, make sure you don't die, go blind or deaf or enter a coma, because YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS THIS FILM.