Average User Score: 8.1Dec 14, 2012While the pacing drags for the first portion of the movie, particularly in the Radagast sequences, Peter Jackson once again brings us a Middle-Earth well worthy of Tolkien's novels and histories. Cate Blanchett particularly shines when she reprises her role from the LotR trilogy as Galadriel, exuding a power that positively sends shivers down the spine. Freeman as Bilbo and Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield are both perfectly cast, and their dynamic as characters is absolutely excellent.
Gollum, once again, brings a twisted sort of fun in the Riddles in the Dark sequence, and the Ring still bears that soft power to it that seduces and twists. Meanwhile, the hobbit sensibility of Bilbo Baggins is exceptionally relatable even as I sit here with my laptop and mug of tea, reflecting on adventure and home and everything it means to go out your door.
Many of Tolkien's songs also appear in the movie, lending both light-heartedness and emotional resonance. I actually felt tears in my eyes during the "Far over the Misty Mountains" song, and was pleasantly surprised by the darkly funny "Goblintown." If this movie does not receive an Oscar nomination for its score, I will be deeply disappointed and most offended.
The 3D was subtle, too, and I am glad of that. Jackson once again shows restraint with the temptation of overusing special effects -- what few there were did not intrude on the story so as to throw me out of it. Once again, Middle-Earth feels as real as the floor under my feet, and for that, I am deeply, deeply thankful.… Expand