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8.7 3 10
FanFix December 06, 2020 2179
(Updated: January 21, 2021)
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This review is for both parts of this edit.

I admit I’d given up hope on the Hobbit. I’m someone who first was exposed to the Tolkien world through the Fellowship of the Ring movie. I’ve since read the books, including the Hobbit. But I never wanted a book version of the Hobbit. Jackson seems to have not wanted one either, but felt he had to in some ways. The result was a disjointed and uneven theatrical version. The extended editions are better but still have too much.

This edit is the best I’ve seen. Though I admit I stopped trying after BotFA was released. This feels more like a prequel to LotR. But no edit will erase the flaws that were filmed. I recently rewatched LotR and it holds up. The world feels real, lived in. Here the CGI and sets stand out like a sore thumb; it feels rushed compared to LotR. It’s an inferior prequel, to be sure, but lord knows we’re used to that at this point. But if you’re interested in a prequel rather than a Hobbit movie, this is probably the best you’re going to get. There are pacing issues introduced by the edit. But I prefer these hiccups to the original. And that, my friends, is actually a ringing endorsement of Wraith’s work!

I still think that the best parts are in the early parts and it falls apart in the the conclusion. It definitely has the feeling of a Marvel movie where the last third is bombast for the purpose of bombast. Little is achieved narratively from a way too long action scene. And, my god, I don’t care if it was what Tolkien wrote (I can’t remember), repeatedly writing the heroes into impossible to survive circumstances and then having them saved at the last minutes by eagles is lame.

The Hobbit trilogy will never rise to the level of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. But this is now a watchable prequel.

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Owner's reply January 24, 2021

Thank you so much for taking the plunge to watch yet another version and taking the time to comment formally. I agree fully, and the Eagles is lame, which is why I cut out the pine cone sequence. The eagles could have just flown them to Erebor (or Frodo to Mount Doom for that matter). I removed near half of the final bombast, but as you state, LOTR would have sufficed.

I'm glad it felt like a prequel.

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