Recommended for: 13 and up
Rating: PG-13 (for violence)
Bilbo and Company are forced to be embraced in a war against an armed flock of combatants and the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.
I actually liked this movie better than I thought I would. I don't really like books or movies to have big battles,so I wasn't very excited about a whole movie about a battle that was hardly in the book.
The special effects were all done well and none of the dwarves or Bilbo's height seemed to change. The creatures seemed lifelike and the acting seemed well done (I didn't notice that the acting was bad). It is the only movie out of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that didn't have a prologue, which was good because it didn't need one.
The setting is pretty much the same as the last movie with the places of Laketown, the Lonely Mountain and the surrounding area, and the ruins of Dale. There were also some scenes in the Shire and some places that weren't in the book. The story takes place during the winter, so it does snow during the movie. I thought that the settings were all well done.
This movie begins right after the last one ends and a good bit of the beginning was about some of the characters trying to prevent a battle. There was a lot that was faithful to the book and there was a lot added. I liked all the added parts with Bard and his children and the parts with Legolas. Much of the battle was added, since there was hardly any of it in the book. Some parts of the battle dragged but the battle was different from what I thought it would be. When the battle started, it mainly focused on the individual characters. I expected the battle to be like the battles in The Return of the King but it was different and I'm not exactly sure why. I think that the elves' reason to fight should've been explained better. There really wasn't a good reason for fighting until the fourth army arrived and the reason the fourth army came was added (and the fourth army was switched from goblins to orcs) There were additions to tie it to The Lord of the Rings which I don't fully understand. There were some parts that I wish had a better conclusion. The very end was different from the book but I loved the way they did it. Because of the way it ended, it made me want to watch The Fellowship of the Ring.
I love many of the characters and I am glad that they added Legolas to this story and that Bard was more than just a minor character that is hardly in it. In the book there wasn't really any focus on any specific dwarves, other than Thorin, so I liked some of the focus was on Kili and a little bit on Balin. There were also the parts with Thorin and how he acted as king. It was like the book and well done. I liked the parts with Bilbo and how you can see the struggle that he is going through. I didn't like what they did with Radagast. He was hardly in the books but the impression that I got was nothing like what is in the movies.
There are some parts that I wish they hadn't cut from these movies but I have enjoyed going to see The Hobbit movies. I would recommend these movies despite the fact that it is not exactly like the books.