The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has split the critics, creating a gulf as vast as the one separating Bilbo Baggins and Gollum. Such criticism could be expected from a movie that kicks off a trilogy -- yet is drawn from a novel that ran all of about 330 pages. So there's a bit of a slow wind-up here, something that has enraged a number of critics who wanted more action from a J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation. Here are exceprt from some movie reviews:
-- Tribune: Extracting three generously proportioned films from Tolkien's books made sense. But turning the relatively slim 1937 volume “The Hobbit” into a trilogy, peddling seven or eight hours of cine-mythology, suggests a better deal for the producers than for audiences. When, in Jackson's film, someone describes a character's “love of gold” as having become “too fierce,” you wonder if the warning might apply to “The Hobbit” in other ways.
-- Washington Post: It’s a bloated, shockingly tedious trudge that manages to look both overproduced and unforgivably cheesy. As the first of director Peter Jackson’s trilogy -- the prequel to his adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” -- it may well please the franchise’s most devoted fans ... . But purely on its own terms, “An Unexpected Journey” can’t be seen as anything but a disappointment, a dreary, episodic series of lumbering walk-talk-fight sequences that often looks less like genuine cinema than a large-scale video game, its high-def aesthetic and mushy close-ups perfectly suited to its presumed end-use on a living room wall or iPhone.