The early reviews of Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," have ranged from calling it tedious and repetitive to singing its praises and raising it up into the same stratosphere with "The Lord of the Rings."
While we won't do a full-on review of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," fans of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy do deserve one question to be answered upfront. "Will I like it?" The best answer to that question is "Well, that depends. We need more info."
To make sense of all of the early review confusion for "An Unexpected Journey," here are three scenarios to hopefully answer your questions.
You Feel Indifferent About "Lord of the Rings" and Haven't Read "The Hobbit"
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will not make a believer out of you. If you felt that the "The Lord of the Rings" were overlong and boring, you'll easily find the same flaws in its prequel.
You Love "Lord of the Rings" and Haven't Read "The Hobbit"
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has everything you liked about the first trilogy, expect there are some subtle differences. This is a sillier, friendlier, and more episodic adventure. Some people will call this a "pacing problem," while others will point to the original text by Tolkien. How you see it will largely depend on how much you like spending time in Middle-earth.
You Love "Lord of the Rings" and Read "The Hobbit"
As a "faithful to a fault" adaption of Tolkien's original book, "An Unexpected Journey" will please you to no end, so stop sending death threats to critics who don't like it. Much more so than was ever possible with "The Lord of the Rings," it's already clear that the "Hobbit" films were made with the true diehard in mind. While this means alienating the more casual of viewers in some slower stretches, this movie is for you. Enjoy!
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens in theaters on December 14.