Review Detail

9.4 34 10
FanFix April 15, 2015 26830
(Updated: April 26, 2015)
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I like Hobbit 2, but Hobbit 1 (with the exception of the dwarfes entering Bilbo's home and the whole sequence with Gollum) and 3 I find to be completely uninteresting and nowhere nearly as good as the Lord of the rings movies.

So I was interested how Spence could improve the Hobbit-movies by forming them into a single movie. First and most important, does it work as a single movie? Yes! Sure it's a bit long with nearly 3,5 hours, but it works really well and just shows that it should have been a single movie from the get-go.

Is it now as good as the lord of the ring movies? Imho, no, they are still way better, but it's an improvement over the theatrical versions.


What Spence did was to remove Azog as an instrument to create tension, imho that is a good decision. Sure it reduces a bit the tension now, but Azog and his orcs are so uninteresting that it hurts.

And he removed the love-triangle between Legolas, that elve-woman and one of the better looking dwarfes. In Hobbit 2 it added some sort of romanticism, and it created a story-strand where the elve woman leaves her kin to fulfill her true love, how she heals that dwarfe and how the dwarf gets killed in front of her in the end. That was actually something that enriched Hobbit 2 and 3. I like a little bit of romantic feelings in movies, the things about sacrificing things for love... but it should be credible and natural.
The problem was that it was unbelievable from the start and it involved only secondary characters, so I think overall it was a good decision to cut it all out. Sure some feeling is missing then, but either these things are done in the right and credible way or not at all.

The other big removement was the "prophecy"-story strand, the lake people believed in the prophecy that one day a dwarfe king would come to reclaim the mountain and its riches. This is removed (although Thorin actually uses the word prophecy in his speech, but that was probably not easy to remove), and many would probably welcome it. But for me, this was one of the things that actually worked well in Hobbit 2, namely that the Lake people living in poor conditions develop some hope that things could change for the better, because of the prophecy. In Hobbit 2 that was the main motivation that they would help the dwarfes, give them weapons and set them free again.

Here the main-motivation is only the hope for the gold in the mountain, but without the prophecy-belief, why would they believe that 13 dwarfes would succeed where whole armies failed before? Imho the prophecy-element was crucial to explain the hope of the Laketownpeople and imho it added that nice consequence that the belief in the prophecy brought them complete ruin by waking up the dragon who then destroyed their town. This is one change/removal that I felt was hurtful.

The other problem was Bard shooting down the dragon. This problem has nothing to do with Spence's edit, but with the theatrical shooting of the scene and lazy writing. All people from Lake-town know from experience that the dragons skin can't be hurt by mere arrows, and yet what does Bard do? He goes up with merely his normal bow and normal arrows and thinks he can do the impossible!

It would have been different if he went up with the clear thought and memory that the dragon lost some of his skin in the encounter with his ancestor, and so goes up with the clear will to try to shoot an arrow into that wound, and then tries, misses, tries, misses, but then succeeds.

But thank goodness, that the scene with the molten gold and the golden dragon was removed and the dwarfes triyng to fight the dragon...

The big battle at the end was nicely shortened, which for me was most welcome. The only problem was the appearance of the eagles and Bilbo saying "The eagles are coming"..., but he hasn't met any eagles in this edit, so why does he associate anything with them or knows anything about them?

The other, but forgiveable problem was in the first third of the movie, where the dwarfes have horses in one scene and then not, and then they have horses again...

It works as a single movie, it's overall better than the theatrical version (though still not nearly as good as the lord-of-the rings movies, but that is the source's problem), and proves that the Hobbit-story should have been told in a single movie from the get-go.

Editing is mostly great and smooth. Great work, Spence!

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Owner's reply April 28, 2015

So glad you enjoyed the edit!

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