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The first Hobbit film was okay, the second got a bit silly, and this third one plumbed the deepest depths imaginable. Hollywood renditions of battles are always a bit stupid, tending to be little more than two mobs charging at each other with no concept of formation or order, but the climactic battle in this one hit new lows. The Dwarves formed up in the most perfect shield-wall ever, a barrier of interlocking shields with spears projecting, virtually unbreakable. Behind them the Elves, superb archers, took up station with their bows. The Orcs wouldn't have stood a chance - and then the Elves jumped over the shield-wall and attacked with swords, and the Dwarves abandoned their formation and broke up into a charging rabble. Idiocy unparalleled. If anyone had thought to attach a generator to Tolkien's body we could have powered the whole UK with the energy from him spinning in his grave.
The small selection of reviews with extended content which I could find time to read have interested me and this review touches on all three films. Clearly there are Tolkein fanatics who could not condone any departure from the book. The Hobbit is not a long book by JRRT's standards but it is by some way the most loved, so I can understand the sense of expectation leading to disappointment if some feature or other did not find its way into Jackson's remarkable film, the culmination of a three-part presentation of the story. Details from the terrifying, enchanted struggle through Mirkwood, for instance in film 2, or the faintly 'kitsch' presentation of some of the dwarves (e.g. Balin, Bombur), or the insertion of a romantic side-story, have irritated some of the reviewers. All seem united in their praise of the technical/CGI work in the Hobbit films and this surely takes pride of place in any assessment (Smaug and the Orcs).
As to the characterization, to be fair, Tolkein sets us up for an affectionate portrait of some of the thirteen, does he not? Some are fearsomely basic, others quaint, others young and very presentable; the two youngest, Fili and Kili, are taken a little further by Jackson and the screenplay so that Kili has a romance with a tomboy elf-maiden which I feel only adds to the attractiveness of films 2 and 3, and the two romantic parts are wonderfully well played. Legolas the elf dauphin is a sophisticated role in films 2 and 3, demanding a tolerant indulgence of this alarming romance between his sweetheart and her new dwarvish amour and it is beautifully understated by Orlando Bloom; Legolas is a credit to Elfland - his horn is indeed softly blowing.
Equally, even with a picture only a few minutes short of three hours, there is nothing to condemn about the portrayal of Thorin's 'madness' and his successful recovery from that. As to Bilbo Baggins himself, he has to be homely, principled and resourceful and this is admirably managed, even if he is used as a means of tying up all the loose ends in a slightly soapy way come the finish.
This leaves something to be said about the three wizards - well, Christopher Lee cannot be faulted; Sylvester McCoy is slightly Disney-like but who am I to say that might not be the way Radegast might be? Gandalf is homely rather than frightening but he is the glue McKellen uses to make the character bridge the yawning gap between Hobbiton and Erebor. Let it pass.
In the end, the film, like its two predecessors, is breathtakingly effective, full of strong emotion and purpose, and viewers who have not yet seen it should not hesitate. I saw the films in quick succession of a large screen with CRT projector, and home cinema sound, which was of course an advantage.
I think that this is possibly the best of the Hobbit movies and the one most suited to the treatment given to them ,the Hobbit is not really a story of the richness and magnitude of Lord of the Rings and might have perhaps been better to make two rather than 3 movies .The last part of the trilogy with its battle scenes and other major developments (trying not to post spoliers) does lend itself to a Lord of the Rings style treatment. I found the love triangle that had been forced into the story irritating but otherwise the plot flowed well and the scenes were impressive and some very moving . Nicely scripted and costumed,though perhaps Bilbo would have been better in something that seemed less like a 1940s dressing gown .Its laos nice to see certain of the themes or artifacts that re appear in Lord of the Rings ,appear first here and be given a context. I thought the main characters where all acted extremely well and even several minor ones . An interesting and pleasant movie
The hobbit is a great book don't get me wrong, but when you split it into three films its not going to be the most cerebral event. That being said the special effects are worth the watch alone and its a decent culmination to the trilogy. As with the Lord of the Rings I imagine it will become quite dated in 5-10 years.
Hmm, same old, same old, if you have seen the other two Hobbit films, then you have to see the 3rd, just to complete the circle. Usual great scenery, the plot is as you would expect, the acting is ok, the actual battle scenes are good too, its just getting a little bit tired by the time you get to this third episode....great for Hobbit fans, so so for everyone else....
I had to get this after finally watching the first 2 recorded over Christmas! There were a few too many battle scenes which detracted from the story line but I guess the clue was in the title! Martin Freeman is excellent and I liked the link to the LOTR fellowship at the end. A romping good watch!