Lalalala can’t hear you! It is inconceivable to me that anyone could watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and not immediately love it. I mean, I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve read the book. I love JRR Tolkien. I know the actors. I trust Peter Jackson! How could those excellent factors add up to anything but a terrific film? Last night, several early reviewers released their opinion of the long awaited movie. Below are a few thoughts:
“[The Hobbit] delivers more of what made his earlier trilogy so compelling — colorful characters on an epic quest amid stunning New Zealand scenery — it doesn’t offer nearly enough novelty to justify the three-film, nine-hour treatment.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
“[It contains] nearly three hours of screen time to visually represent every comma, period and semicolon in the first six chapters of the perennially popular 19-chapter book, Jackson and his colleagues have created a purist’s delight, something the millions of die-hard fans of his Lord of the Rings trilogy will gorge upon. In pure movie terms, however, it’s also a bit of a slog, with an inordinate amount of exposition and lack of strong forward movement. ” -Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
“It takes nearly three hours to get only that far might seem excessive. That it pulls in Tolkien material from beyond The Hobbit might seem like it’s taken the children’s tale and forced it to grow up – and fill what will be, by this trilogy’s end, eight hours-plus of screen time. But as lengthy as this first installment is, it’s a cracking start. It’s also a film which feels looser, funnier and often outright scarier than Jackson’s last venture into this territory.” -Russell Baillie, The New Zealand Herald
The common complaint seems to be a lengthy beginning, but one reviewer noted that the last hour flies by. We know the studio approved a trilogy division (opposed to a single book) because it triples profits, but will it hurt the plot? This isn’t a novel that naturally divides into three stories. I’m counting on heavy use of Tolkien’s appendices to help give more distinct shape to each film. And really, it’s not like any Tolkien fans will protest the movie because of the trilogy–that would feel like punishing ourselves, instead of the studio! Are you going at midnight? Let us know if your hopes are crushed by the negative reviews, or if you’re holding out!