As someone who’s always felt alienated by the myth-making of Wagner and Tolkien, I'm hardly one to say whether Peter Jackson's big-screen adaptations of The Hobbit succeed in conveying the spirit of the book. I can say, though, that Jackson's bloated, hollow spectacle feels closer to a theme park attraction than to narrative filmmaking. Like The Hobbit: The Journey Begins (2012), this second installment opens with an hour of perfunctory exposition and continues with nearly another two of nonstop sensory stimulation. The chaotic action, amped-up sound effects, and needlessly intricate CGI landscapes (which are less convincing than traditional sets or even the hand-drawn backdrops of Disney classics) wore me out well before the movie was over. With Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Director: Peter Jackson
Producer: Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Michael Mizrahi, Dean O'Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt and Aidan Turner
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug