Given the popularity of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, and manifestly, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has all the signs of another blockbuster fantasy, but, ahead of it's U.K and U.S releases, is it worth pre-ordering your seat? Here's our review roundup.
So far, there has been a decidedly mixed response from critics and fans alike. Perhaps the fact it made fans physically sick on its New Zealand debut, due to some unprecedented big screen frame rate, could have acted as a useful barometer for the undecided press reaction.
So what do you want first: the good news or the bad news? We'll start with bad. That's what people do isn't it? The Daily Telegraph, in a 2/5 review, say, "As a lover of cinema, Jackson's film bored me rigid; as a lover of Tolkien, it broke my heart." TIME Magazine was equally honest in its appraisal, writing, "The movie lacks majesty. Grand in parts, the movie is too often grandiose or grandiloquent; and the running time is indefensible," while New York Magazine say "The Lord of the Rings trilogy [has] been replaced by something that resembles tatty summer-stock theater."
But don't worry Jackson-ites, your beloved Sunday afternoons watching hours and hours of fantasy back to back aren't ruined; some critics were into it. "A tighter hand (and one less film in the mix) may have helped this first film somewhat but there's no doubt that the first step taken on our journey with The Hobbit is an enjoyable and visually stunning one," say popular review site HeyUGuys, while perhaps the most reputable of the film reviews, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian says, "Jackson has made The Hobbit with brio and fun, and Martin Freeman is just right as Bilbo Baggins: he plays it with understatement and charm."
So it probably reads like this: if you're an avid fan of all things Tolkien, then it doesn't matter what the reviews say, you're going to satisfy your Hobbit cravings. But if you're looking for a nice midweek flick to catch after work, this might give you that early night you've been craving.