The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of three movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkein's beloved book, and predecessor to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit. With the first instalment of Peter Jackson's adaptation hitting cinemas last week, the anticipation that preceded it had been unseen since, well, the final LOTR movie. Here's what people have had to say so far.
Currently, the film holds a rather unimpressive score of 65% on movie review amalgamator Rotten Tomatoes, and a quick glance through the reviews circulating will show that the overall reception of the film can be described simply as 'meh'. Some have been somewhat lenient on Jackson and his latest effort, whilst others have been much harsher, so let's look at the neysayers first shall we.
CNN were particularly critical of the adaption, saying the film was "a major comedown, a muddle-headed and cumbersome piece of filmmaking that betrays Jackson's mercenary motives -- Tolkien's book, too." Likewise, the New York Times and USA Today were equally unforgiving, calling the film an over-scale" and a "plodding spectacle," as well as bemoaning the "less substantial" story the film relies on. Let"'s not forget, the Hobbit is just one book, shorter than any of the Lord of the Rings books, so a sense that the films will be drawn out would not be lost.
Still, its not all been bad press for Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and co., as some press outlets have also spoken highly of the film. The London Evening Standard praised the film for having all the production values to match the last trilogy, but remained somewhat critical of the unneeded amount of boombast in this one . Likewise, Rolling Stone praise just about everything in the film, except the story, which they said was like forcing "audiences to run an obstacle course before the fun kicks in."
Maybe not as good as everyone may have expected, but still, we're only part way in. Who knows what else the franchise will have to offer. You can read our, mostly positive, review of the film here.