The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.
I really liked the first hobbit. It was exciting, fun and visually outstanding – which is everything I want from this sort of film. I know were not going an epic story like LOTR so I went into Hobbit 2 with a completely different mindset to a lot of people. And I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
Being more of a Peter Jackson fan fiction rather than keeping tightly to the book, the plot does seem stretched out a little. It seems they just pile on more and more pointless names and back stories that honestly aren’t at all that interesting. The movie just feels more convoluted because of it and one of the few flaws it has. For the most part though, the narrative, like the first, bustles along at a good pace and despite that they could have maybe cut off 20 minutes or so; the movie keeps you interested from start to finish. Things like the ring and the elf characters come to mind as highlights.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo is once again incredibly good, a man never more perfectly cast. Some of the best moments are Freeman’s genius reactions to situations and we just needed more of it. Other people to note are Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug; as the chemistry between the two Sherlock stars just shines through. Ian Mckellen is of course brilliant and another character who we didn’t see enough off. Everyone one else was fine; a nice touch from old man Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lily as the love interest really surprised me, because she was sometimes poor in Lost.
What sells this film, like the first one. is just the ability to sit back and just enjoy the action. Peter Jackson is a master of CG; creating some of the best set pieces cinema has ever seen. The section when they’re flowing down the river in barrels is just superb. Visually this movie is perfect. Also, the darker tone and leveled up action is what makes this one better than the first.
Peter Jackson manages to entertain and amaze for another 3 hours – 4.5/5