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Showing 1-10 of 5,702 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 6,334 reviews
on April 9, 2016
The second movie in the Hobbit series is quite a bit darker than the first one (which was very much darker than the book that Tolkien wrote). For me, it was a rough go watching it.

The movie begins with the group running from orcs and continues to follow them through Mirkwood and ends soon after Bilbo and the dwarves reach the Lonely Mountain. Along the way there is fairly non-stop mayhem, with a fair chunk of Azog's army being decapitated, speared through, or simply shot through in unusual ways. As usual, Peter Jackson's vision of locations in Middle Earth is pretty amazing and in places breath taking.

Unfortunately, very little actually happens in this movie. We are introduced to a few new characters - Beorn, Bard, Smaug, and Tauriel. A romance is kindled between a dwarf (Fili) and an Elf (Tauriel) which seems amazingly far fetched. As for plot otherwise, it is pretty thin -- mostly about how the company gets from here to there, while pursued by orcs.

I am disappointed in a few different things. First of all, I am very tired of the extended, video-game like montages of dwarves/elves killing orcs. The only reason to fear orcs, is that there are as many of them as Legolas has arrows. Other than Azog, they seem amazingly easy to kill and are really weak as antagonists. More than anything though, I would really like to have more plot and less action. It is hard to get to know characters when all they are doing is running from or killing orcs. Even the extended interaction with Smaug eventually feels silly. Many of the action sequences are very video-game like and do nothing for me.

The second thing that disappoints, is the high level of darkness that has crept into the franchise. I suppose that this sequel is to serve a sort "Empire Strikes Back" purpose before the launch of the final film, but the constant dark feeling -- basically without relenting -- is upsetting. Understanding Peter Jackson's desire to flesh out the back story, the addition of the battle between Gandalf and Sauron only serves to deepen the black mood which seems to underpin this movie. This movie has a darkness which is greater than anything I remember from the LOTR trilogy.

There is an amazing amount of time compression that goes on here. While I understand that this is to give urgency to the actions of the characters, it also makes it feel as though most of their actions are completely unplanned and random. For example, the dwarves are captured and almost immediately Bolg plans an attack on the halls of the wood elves and Bilbo rescues the dwarves. The dwarves arrive in Esgaroth and have to be at the Mountain within two days.

A final thing is that there is little done with character development. That is to say, most characters are fleshed out primarily with regard to their style with which they kill orcs. It is sad, but other than size and appearance, I have a hard time telling any of the dwarves from each other (except for Thorin and Balin).

There were a few things I really liked about the movie. Bard seemed to be an interesting character, with excellent acting by Luke Evans. He is one of the places where you actually feel like you do get to see a real person -- probably because he doesn't have to waste his time killing orcs and can spend time interacting with his kids and the dwarves. Smaug is the other excellent creation. He really does come alive in a real way and he is a far more worthwhile villain than Azog.

In the end, there never was enough material in the Hobbit for three movies. Maybe Peter Jackson just loves this world so much that he decided to make The Hobbit into three movies, but one has to think that money played a part as well. I still think the main themes of the book The Hobbit is missing here -- that small people can do great things, if they have a little luck and a lot of courage and that the most important things in life are not found in wealth, but in things that money can't buy.

Be that as it may, two hours of action set pieces and forty minutes of acting doesn't make for an interesting movie. I may watch it again, because I love Middle Earth, but I can't say that I was very impressed by it.
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on February 1, 2015
There are two types of people: those who think that Tolkien fantasy should be limited to a reasonable amount of your life (or none of your life) and those who cannot conceive of a universe in which there is too much Tolkien. If you're part of the latter, then I'm preaching to the choir. If you're of the former lot, then you wouldn't read this review and so I'll not waste time addressing you any more.

Does this film stay true to the original work? Of course not! Does this film give you hours of elf-y ork-y fantasy bliss? Heavens yes! I for one love the original Tolkien, and I love these films which are not true to the spirit or letter of the books. Go re-read the books - they are wonderful! Watch this endless beautiful fantasy. It's very different and very wonderful too. The books are full of wit. The films lack wit, but they offer a visual masterpiece, which is a tremendous thing. Tolkein's Gandolf and Bilbo were characters full of terrific British cleverness and luck. Kippling, and Dahl and Milne taught us to love this thing that Tolkien gave us too and it is a thing of books...not a thing of film. If film is our modern theater then let these movies be judged as such and in that court they are great works. Enjoy this three hour indulgence of theater and art. Also...go re-read the books they are great too.
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on March 21, 2017
A very impressive sequel to the first film of the prequel Hobbit trilogy that makes space for a lot of action and the incredible entry of Smaug into the story. The dragon is a true success in the film, being personalized at a level that is quite remarkable and very believable. As its predecessor the film suffers from some weak and too long moments that are caused by Peter Jackson's wish to go into too many details.
The barrel scene will remain one of the most impressive epic scenes of film history, being shot and felt like a video game.
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on October 16, 2015
If you are interested in this, the Hobbit story about finding the ring and getting the mountain back, you already know everything you need to know. If you like the world of Middle Earth that is currently being created by Jackson and crew then you will like this, a lot. Being one of those that have watched the long versions of all the Fellowship movies I like the extended version of the story and the little tidbits of extras added in this.
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on May 17, 2016
In this movie we continue with Bilbo on his journey alongside the dwarves. We begin to see how he becomes valuable and a hero and why it is Gandalf repeats that it is the little things that matter in the world and can make the greatest changes. Bilbo blunders along and great things happen around him. But when it matters his heart is always in the right place. Follow him on his journey. It is worth it!
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on March 3, 2017
Someone told me the movie was worth it to see how great Smaug was done...they were wrong. Just fast forward to the dragon, the rest of the movie is BORING! How they could take such a fantastic book and make it into a dumb movie is beyond me.
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on January 17, 2016
If you aren't familiar with the trilogy it wont' make much sense. This on is sadder than the first but still good. It is exciting to see the growth of adventure and confidence in Bilbo and the relationships formed among the dwarves. A classic.
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on July 7, 2014
If you love a book can you ever uncritically see the movie? Likely not... That said, this is visually stunning, and does nothing to dim your minds eye from the real story, though I can't help but think old J.R.R. Rolled in his grave when he saw the poetic license unleashed on his seminal tale.
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on November 25, 2016
My Favorite movie series. Well done, I love all three but thrive scene is my favorite, especially where bombour goes flying in his barrel. Great lessons about patience in this movie. If only the dwarfs were not so stubborn and unforgiving they would have had help from the elves.
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on May 6, 2014
Of course ALL Tolkien fans are going to say the same thing. It's great effects and realistic filming give it a special feel of 'Classic Film' . Having said that, they did vary a bit from the book. Not that I'm complaining! Just stating the facts. After all anybody would be crazy to cut out Turiel and the fight scenes. But I do wish that they would not have dragged this thing out Into a three part movie. The Hobbit is after all, a short book. But, it's really really good, none the less! I'll just be glad when the last ones out so I can watch them ALL in a row on rainy days. But mostly, they stick to the book so closely, that it's almost like filming in real time. Ergo, the length of the film.
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