It appears that many want Thorin (Richard Armitage) dead except for the other dwarfs and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) who has appeared at the Dancing Pony to cover his back in a time of need. You see Thorin has a plan, a journey actually to travel across miles through the Mirkwood forest, stop in Lake Town, and travel to the Lonely Mountain, their home, to reclaim his rightful kingdom. His father had not succeeded but Thorin with the help of his Dwarfs and burglar Bilbo (Martin Freeman) who happens to be in control of a certain gold ring which holds special powers believes he can slay the dragon Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) and reclaim his fortunes and original home land.
Along the journey the Dwarfs encounter many obstacles and challenges especially those of the evil and deadly Orc’s who are out to claim war against the Dwarfs and everyone else in their way which of course includes the Elves. The Dwarfs encounter giant spiders in the forest as they hid from the Orc’s and if not for Bilbo but especially the Elves they would have been dead. The Elves under command of Thrandull (Lee Pace) take back the captured Dwarfs to their empire under watchful eyes of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). Legolas has eyes for Tauriel but his father Thrandull disapproves since she is too common for his son but Tauriel has found a new interest and it happens to be a Dwarf named Kili (Aidan Turner).
Bilbo uses his powerful gold ring once again so the Dwarfs can escape their cells only to seek freedom in barrels flowing down a river as they are being shot at by the Orc’s. One of the best and most dramatic action filled scenes in the story! A war begins between the three parties but it is the Elves that once again protect the Dwarfs from the Orc’s as they seek their way to Lake Town. If not for Bard (Luke Evans) the boatman the Dwarfs may never had made their way across water to Lake Town where they eventually battle the Orc’s and the Elves once again. Under the blessing of the Master of Lake Town (Stephen Fry) the Dwarfs make their way to the mountain in hopes of finding the hidden keyhole as a back way into the kingdom to slay the dragon. If their plan does not work then the people of Lake Town may all perish from the attack by the awakened dragon.
The film in my opinion is once again way to long and the story tends to drag on too much to keep it overall interesting. There are a lot of special effects, the 3D tends to work and the writing is well done but as a director I would have made some of the scenes less lengthy, more developed and a little more believable. The cinematography is phenomenal and the score is a great accompaniment to the story and the characters but most of the interesting parts are the end in the chase between the Dwarfs and the dragon. The Orc’s are definitely quite evil looking and their war scenes are great to watch but they always seem to take a beating compared to some very tiny Dwarfs and some long eared Elves. As for Gandalf he seems to go on a mission and for the most part tends to disappear as does the ending of the film but as the next story comes out to the big screen I’m sure everything will be tied together bringing closure to the Hobbit’s journey once and for all.
I really can’t say anything bad about any of the actors since this huge cast all did a great job. McKellen of course was great as was Freeman but it was Armitage that controls many of his scenes. Turner is a nice use of a character side story as he falls for the she elf played by Lilly but at times their romance seemed a bit awkward yet not due to their size differences. Bloom carries his lead well but it is Pace who plays his father that rules the day with his every word. As for the actors that played the Orc’s, the rest of the Elves and the Dwarfs they all are perfect and complimentary of each other bringing this story of the Hobbit to life and a much better story than the last one. Written with two paws out of four by Jon Patch. Next time two hours is more than enough!