I think I want to not like this film; there are a lot of flaws with it and were this released ten years ago instead of the Lord of the Rings, then things wouldn't have taken off. Though, I think that's a large part of the problem, after people enjoyed the LOTR trilogy and talked about the extended footage, they decided to work it in this time. The result is choppy to say the least, it feels like they ended up making two films at once, one which is a children's story filled with Dwarves that have silly names and eccentric wizards and another which is a prequel to LOTR with Thorin Oakenshield trying to reclaim his ancient kingdom while other threats loom over Middle Earth. Neither is bad in themselves but when the two are combined and switched between, it's rather awkward. The feel is rather episodic which each episode being radically different in tone; one minute they are darting around a field with massive rabbits and the next they are discussing political intrigue. There are also definite pacing problems, in a three hour film, Bilbo isn't really given a motivation for going; He went from ardently refusing to running after them with the contract in hand. After that they spend most of the movie wondering why he's even there. Gandalf narratively has turned into a bigger Deus ex Machina on that front, to the point where most of the time when there's danger it's because he's wandered off to take a piss for five minutes. I feel disappointed by the CG in this films as well. The Moutain Trolls were nice but the White Orc and the Goblins were over the top cartoonish. The latter were slightly more permissable if they were aiming more for the kids book angle but the White Orc looked like a generic videogame villain. It was disappointing compared to the more human-looking Orcs we saw in the original film and made him less threatening. The biggest problem was that it never set a tone or feel for itself, yet each in itself was solid. Had Peter Jackson gone one way or another this would have been a great film and it shows through most of the time. If you can adjust yourself between the whiplash between scenes, then the content underneath is nice. The whole theatre was exciting every time they began to sing. If you were a fan of Lord of the Rings like myself, this is worth a watch. Otherwise, skip it.
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