Last time, I did a Bilbo, Azog, and Necromancer division. Even though Azog's role is reduced here, it falls under the grandfather clause,so Bilbo for stuff from the book, Azog for LOTR, added stuff, and Necromancer for Tolkiens notes stuff.
Bilbo: Mirkwood was very creepy and Mind Screwy
, the parts where Bilbo falls under the Ring's influence are chilling to watch, and Bard the Bowman was great. Thorin in general was brilliant here. His slow corruption throughout the film is very well-done, and one of the best scenes is when he enters Erebor. As for Smaug, I've only really got two things to say that everyone hasn't said before. One, it was a great decision to make him able to smell the Ring, because after that Bilbo couldn't hide and any pretense of safety was gone. Two, I know a lot of people mention Benedict Cumberbatch
when they talk about Smaug. For me, the voice alterations and CG covered him up and I didn't really see him in the role, which was great since the performance got through without distracting me. Thorin and Smaug in favor, 9/10
Azog:Has been demoted and is no longer chasing the dwarves. Instead, his son we barely know and don't care about is. Huh. Tauriel's the big new addition here, and the Love Triangle
. Since it wasn't really the filmmaker's fault, and the Ship Tease
between her and Legolas can be muted with a thick pair of Anti-Shipping Goggles
, I'm going to ignore it. Aside from this, I like her and the romance between her and Kili. Sure, there's a bit of Strangled by the Red String
, but a gender-flipped Rescue Romance
is so rare and they do have genuine chemistry, so I'll let it fly. Hi Legolas. Bye Legolas. It's okay, I guess. 7/10
Necromancer:Nice to see Radagast again, and Sauron was terrifying as always. The Droste Image
for Sauron, the battle on the bridge, and the set for the old castle were all excellent. Properly atmospheric and creepy, and while there's not much here and and of itself, it's a decent set-up for what is to come. 8/10
Final score is 8/10. Sure, the unnecessary Love Triangle
was annoying and the ending dragged a lot (and least there were no fake-outs), but overall it's a good film. The story needs work, but the characters, their interactions, and the sets hold it up.