After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest--without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south?Written by
Unlike the first movie in the franchise, where he had one line of dialogue, Bombur doesn't speak at all in this movie. See more »
In the treasure vaults of Erebor, Smaug tells Bilbo that he'd almost be willing to give the Arkenstone to "Thorin Oakenshield" just to watch it drive him mad. Smaug has no particular reason to know the name of the grandson of the king he deposed from Erebor, and since he's been sealed inside the lonely mountain ever since, he certainly wouldn't know the "Oakenshield" name that Thorin earned in a battle at Moria years later. See more »
The Extended Edition that was made for the home theater market adds 25 minutes of additional footage. These include the following new or extended scenes:
At the Prancing Pony, Gandalf asks Thorin about his business in Bree. Thorin tells him that he is searching for Thrain, his father who was presumed dead after the Battle of Moria; Thrain has supposedly been seen again. Thorin also mentions that Thrain was wearing one of the seven Dwarf Lord rings when he disappeared.
After having spent the night in Beorn's house, the Dwarves are discussing how they can get past Beorn unseen; however, Gandalf assures them they will need Beorn's help. Gandalf goes with Bilbo to carefully introduce the group to Beorn, but the Dwarves mistake his gestures for a sign that they should come out of the house, much to Beorn's unpleasant surprise.
Upon leaving with Beorn's ponies, Beorn makes the group swear to free the horses before entering the forest. He then has a talk with Gandalf about Azog, the Necromancer at Dol Guldur, the tombs in the mountains (featuring a flashback with a voiceover by Galadriel) and a possible return of Sauron.
Gandalf warns the Dwarves not to disturb the water in Mirkwood, use only bridges, and be wary of illusions.
The Dwarves find the bridge in Mirkwood destroyed, so they cross the river with the use of vines hanging above the water. Bombur falls in the water and is asleep, so the other Dwarves need to carry him. They see a white stag, which Thorin tries to shoot unsuccessfully. Bilbo states this will bring bad luck.
The Master of Laketown and his aid Alfrid talk about Bard and their desire to get rid of his influence on the people of the town. As Alfrid serves the Master a plate of goat and ram's testicles to eat, they discuss a possibility to silence Bard.
While being smuggled into Laketown, the Dwarves are discovered. They fight off the guards with the help of the townsfolk. Braga, the captain of the guards, enters, and Bard bribes him into leaving by offering him a fancy piece of underwear for his wife.
Master and Alfrid are discussing an old prophecy that when the king of the mountain returns, the streets will run with gold.
Alfrid asks whether Thorin can be trusted to keep his word, prompting Bilbo to vouch for him.
The remaining Dwarves ask Alfrid to help the wounded Kili, but he coldly dismisses them.
Balin describes how the desolation of Smaug was once a lush woodland.
While at Dol Guldur, Gandalf is suddenly attacked by a Dwarf. After a brief scuffle, Gandalf recognizes his assailant as Thrain, and uses an enchantment to give him his memory back. Thrain mentions how he lost his finger and the Dwarf Lord ring during the Battle of Moria. He also warns Gandalf that no one should get into Erebor.
Gandalf and Thrain are attacked by Azog at Dol Guldur. Gandalf fights him off and they run away, only to be caught by the Necromancer, who uses black smoke tendrils to grab and kill Thrain.
Bilbo Baggins and assorted dwarfs continue their journey to Erebor, overcoming various obstacles on the way (including hostile elves) before Bilbo has to try to fulfil his engagement as burglar under the fiery snout of antisocial dragon Smaug.
The second Lord Of The Rings movie suffered from Middle Film Syndrome: Hobbit 2, despite occupying the same position in a trilogy, does not suffer to the same extent, and perhaps this is because it is exciting all the way through, yet follows on from a film which was pretty slow throughout its first half.
It also contains large chunks which do not come from the novel - I'm pretty sure Legolas wasn't in the book. He is great fun here, as a much angrier soldier in the Elf Army. And new creation Tauriel is hugely enjoyable, resembling nothing so much as Uma Thurman's character from Kill Bill, albeit attractively played with the hint of a smile by Evangeline Lilly.
Apart from being a more engaging movie than part 1, pretty much everything I thought about that movie still holds. I still have reservations about the dwarfs - their faces and hair feel obviously prosthetic and wigged, and it's still pretty difficult to tell them apart from each other except for the old one, the one wounded by the orc arrow, Thorin, and James Nesbitt's Irish one. I still have reservations about CGI orc faces - the prosthetic orc faces work noticeably better. I still have reservations about some of the action sequences, where more is not necessarily better (one sequence, in particular had the audience laughing because of the extent to which the Elvish derring-do was over-derring-done). And there are times when Bilbo looks cut out and pasted into a scene. And, once again, the 3D is indifferent.
Otherwise, this was great fun. Loads of action, some nice character work, an excellent and nasty spider fight, a well-voiced and visually realised Smaug, and not the slightest yen to look at my watch.
And a cliff-hanger. You swine, Jackson.
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