I haven’t been as active in the Tolkien Purist debates for years, but I went to see The Hobbit with everyone else and felt compelled to share my thoughts on it. I initially posted this review on a couple of different forums, but I felt like posting it here as well for posterity.
Did any of this happen? Well, the film certainly got off to a quicker start, but I’m not sure that was such a good thing the way they handled it. The core characters were stable and they handled the dragon-sickness thing better than I thought they would, so there is that. But the rest of the Dwarvish cast has faded even further into the background with the addition of new characters. The only exception is Fili and Kili, who had a little bit of characterization in the first film and have enlarged roles here. The three film split continues to be a terrible fucking idea, and DOS is a hundred times worse at being a “middle movie” than TTT was. On the other hand, Evangeline Lilly gave one of the better performances in the film, but she was given atrocious material to work with. Other PJ additions were uniformly poorly thought out, but that’s to be expected. Bolg the Azog clone (it’s never mentioned or even implied that they were father and son) is pretty dull. The way they handle the Necromancer is beyond bad. Benedict Cumberbatch is good as Smaug, but he really needs to start picking better roles if he wants to be remembered as anything but Sherlock.