My thoughts are very strong with this movie "Yes" its a step down from The Lord of The Rings but honestly it was never meant to be like Lord of The Rings . The Hobbit started as a children s story read by J.R.R Tolkien himself. I enjoy The Hobbit films due to its creative surroundings of Middle Earth to its lovable characters including Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf . The Visuals thought they are mostly CGI are very well done , The soundtrack to the film is very epic and beautiful .
Martin Freeman , Richard Armitage and Sir Ian McKellen all give loving , mysterious and adventurous performances throughout the film and the pay off is well worth the adventure which will continue through the next two films.
The only flaws I have with the first installment of The Hobbit is that the CGI does take more screen time than it should , and not as many practical effects and that's just not as remember able as The Lord of The Rings films which used more practical than visual. not much character development was made throughout this movie only besides what you basically needed to know about the 3 stars of the movie . That Thorin is king of Aribor , Gandalf is Gandalf and that Bilbo is in need of leaving the Shire for once.
Other than that The Hobbit: an unexpected Journey is a fun time with a more exciting adventure knowing that the stakes are not as high like it was in the Lord of The Ring trilogy and that we can just enjoy the journey that the company of the dwarves , Thorin , Bilbo and Gandalf will go on.