The Hobbit movies are considered by many to be yet another disappointment in a long and fabled line of terrible prequels. The first one isn’t that bad, but it was especially clear in the second one that Peter Jackson had lost his touch. This may be because he was never supposed to be directing these movies. He said after Return of the King that he’d never make a movie like that again, and throughout most of pre-production Guillermo Del Toro was set to direct. How awesome would that be? We may never know, because Del Toro dropped out and Peter Jackson swooced right in as the Jeff Winger-style reluctant hero of the franchise. And if you watch the behind-the-scenes stuff from the movies, you can very easily tell that he does not want to be there at all. This may explain the artificiality and lack of passion behind these prequels.

Regardless, the second installment, Desolation of Smaug, was so bad that many decided to skip the third one. After all, it’s based on the 40-page epilogue. Naturally, I played the role of the Peter Jackson-style reluctant hero and decided to see the movie so you don’t have to. And I have to say, it’s pretty good.

I don’t mean that it’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking or anything, but on a visceral level, it’s easily the most enjoyable Hobbit movie, although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original trilogy. I like how we’ve reached a point where, at least for a little while, The Hobbit and Star Wars are easily comparable in many ways. The prequels kinda suck, but the third one not so much. People often debate about which of the original three is best, but one is agreed upon by most (Empire/Return of the King). Can’t wait for JJ Abrams’ Silmarillion Cinematic Universe (this is genuinely a good idea).

Ah yes, the movie. I found it a bit funny and a bit disappointing that Smaug, the dragon played by Bumberditch Bumberditch, died in the first scene. THE FIRST. SCENE. This guy was in literally all of the advertisements, but we don’t even get ten minutes into the movie before he takes an arrow to the heart. Maybe there was some scheduling conflict with Bubberducky Cubism. Yes, I know it’s what happened in the book, but was Elfangeline Lilly in the book? That’s right.

Now, I haven’t really read the book, but I am aware that there are many differences between the book and the movies. That being said, it is a very fun movie. I especially admire Richard Armitage’s performance as Thorin, who’s stricken with dragon fever and has to slowly recover.

Really, there’s not a lot to say about this movie. The action is great, the special effects finally hold up to those of the original trilogy, the whole cast does a pretty solid job, and everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow as the movie ends immediately where Fellowship starts.

Overall, I’d give this movie a B. It does drag quite a bit, and still lacks the passion of the original trilogy, but it’s definitely a real improvement. And it’s the last one we’ll ever get. Until Abrams’ Silmarillion Cinematic Universe, of course. Like this post if you like it, comment if you comment it, follow if you ain’t no punk, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…

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