Date Posted: 2013-12-21
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? No
To start off, I will admit that I was a bit worried about this movie. I loved the first one, yet was quite worried about the addition of Tauriel and the rumors swirling around the romance involving her and Kili. Fortunately, my concerns turned out to be of no consequence. As a fan of the book, I could have hated all of the changes made to the story, but I chose to see them as expansions upon the story, much needed expansions.
---SPOILER WARNING--- The beginning of the film, taking us back to Bree, gave me a very nostalgic feeling. I enjoyed learning about some of Thorin's motivation for taking on the quest, and Peter Jackson's hilariously obvious cameo was another wonderful throwback (or forward, depending on how you look at it) to the days of Lord of the Rings. The Dwarves running from Azog and taking shelter in Beorn's house was very well done, though I so wish we could have had a longer time to get to know Beorn. Hopefully we shall see more in the extended edition. When the Dwarves moved on to Mirkwood, leaving Gandalf behind, I was both excited and nervous, as I knew what was coming soon after. Mirkwood itself was exactly as I had always imagined it, down to the twisting tree roots just waiting for someone to trip over them. I enjoyed the scene of Bilbo climbing up into a tree and seeing the Lonely Mountain. The joy on his face is heartwarming. What comes next... Not so much. I might have a slight case of Arachnophobia, which is why the spider sequence is my least favorite in the entire film. These spiders were worse to me than Shelob, most likely because there were more of them. This sequence also showed the effect that the Ring is already beginning to have on Bilbo's mind, as he reacts much like Gollum to a spider coming between him and the Ring. The dramatic entrance of the Elves was amazing, allowing us to experience even more of the stunts that Legolas has become so well known for. The brief conversation between Legolas and Gloin was laughable; upon seeing a picture of the then young Gimli, he remarks that he appears to be an orc mutant. When the dwarves are put in the dungeons, the ensuing conversations between Kili and Tauriel are heartwarming, though one particular line broke the hearts of anyone who has read the book. I enjoyed getting to know Kili very much, and began to really like Tauriel. The conversation between Thranduil and Thorin is chilling, as two proud kings face off. Lee Pace did an amazing job of showing us a different kind of Elf. Bilbo's rescue of the Dwarves was fun, and the shouts of joy that came when he got them out showed just how much they have come to appreciate him. The ensuing escape in the barrels was intense. Orcs chase them, and Kili is badly wounded. I was in tears from laughing so hard as Bombur finally had his chance to shine, as he destroys several orcs while still trapped in his barrel. We see Tauriel and Legolas questioning an orc, who tells them that Kili was shot with a poisoned arrow. Thranduil shows his devious and selfish nature here as well, proving once more that he is an entirely different brand of Elf. Tauriel immediately goes to track down the orcs and Legolas follows her, both disobeying Thranduil's orders. Tauriel shows what a great character she is, as she basically tells Legolas that he and Thranduil are not looking at the big picture.
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