It’s charting a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is technically still a passing grade, but it’s still a D if you remember from high school. Assessments range from saying it’s a great adventure that simply takes too long, to lacking a certain ring, to suffering from story bloat, to simply being not as good as “Lord of the Rings.”
The chief complaint seems to be Peter Jackson’s decision to milk “The Hobbit,” a relatively small book, for 3 separate 3-hour movies (at least “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is about 3 hours, and the other are likely to be just as epic) as opposed to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which adapts 3 very long books into 3 3-hour movies. The consensus seems to be there just isn’t story to justify 9 hours worth of “Hobbit.”
Which all makes sense: When you’ve got a franchise as successful as “Lord of the Rings,” of course you’re going to want to milk it for as many movies as possible. But what happens when you run out of story? In the case of “Star Wars,” you apparently just keep going regardless, which has led some to worry about the Phantom Menace factor wreaking havoc on Tolkien as the inevitable sequels and prequels roll out over the years.
A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes that it “rises to weary, belated mediocrity” and issues perhaps the harshest criticism—comparing it to “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Clash of the Titans.”
Yikes. Well, whatever—I’ve got my 3D tickets for 11am tomorrow, as I’m sure I will for the next one, and the next one…
Here’s a round-up of some the suckier reviews: