We rejoin our company of Dwarves, our Hobbit burglar, and Wizard still trying to avoid capture by the Orcs, continuing their journey to Erebor. The path that they take to the Lonely Mountain leads the company to separate multiple times, have various run-ins with Orcs, spiders, and Elves, and face some tough choices. However, in true Jackson and Tolkien form, there are quite a few laughs along the way.
Note: you’re in luck. I’m not going to spoil much of anything for you. 🙂
Let’s start with the reasons why you may not like this movie. Firstly, book fans will be disappointed if you were expecting this movie to follow the books. While the movie did have the important parts in it, we knew (especially with the addition of Tauriel) that this movie would diverge from the book (note: for those of you who have read every annotated version, the Unfinished Tales, and the Appendices, you will definitely see some of the lesser-known parts in here). Secondly, this is a classic second installment of a trilogy: it’s the set up of the play, the calm before the storm. There is plenty of action and fun, but from a plot development perspective, it is fairly bland.
That being said, the movie had some really great parts in it. Unlike the first installment of The Hobbit, this movie had just enough fighting sequences. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed in this movie as I did in the previous one. Further, while a lot of the fighting was scary and a bit creepy, that eeriness was broken by the usual quirky fight sequences that make you laugh a little (and love Orlando Bloom a bit more, of course *swoon*).
I have to address Tauriel as well. If you read my write-up of the Worldwide Fan Event, you know that I left with a new appreciation and pretty giant crush on Evangeline Lilly. As such, I went into the movie with an open mind, and I have to say that I was presently surprised. Bottom line is that if you’re already a fan of Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations, then you’re used to this sort of thing happening, and you’ve become accustomed to separating yourselves from the books while watching and appreciating the movies. If you take that ideal just a bit further (after you’ve already accepted characters switching lines, sequences that were made up, and characters that were eliminated from the story), why not stretch that a bit farther to the addition of Tauriel? She plays a much bigger role than I expected, but I like her as a character, and I think that she fits into Jackson’s plot well.
And then there’s Smaug. As I’ve said before, this movie is visually stunning, and when you finally meet Smaug, you’ll be impressed by him and all of his treasure. Further, the sequences that were filmed in Erebor were amazing. When you see it, think about what Moria first looked like in The Fellowship of The Ring and how awed you were; when you see inside of the Lonely Mountain, you’ll be able to see just how far technology has come since then.
If you’re a fan of Tolkien, The Hobbit, Jackson, or dragons, then this movie is definitely for you. It’s not as dark and dreary as many second installments are, but there are some jumpy parts and a few creepy parts, so be mindful if you’re bringing kids.
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Run Time: 161 min
Rating: PG – 13
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel “The Hobbit”)
Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and Christopher Lee