THE DEFINING CHAPTER.
The dragon Smaug flies to Esgaroth to destroy the town, but greater challenges await in the shape of a coming battle for Lonely Mountain. The final part of this trilogy is the shortest film Peter Jackson ever made about the Middle-Earth, but maybe that’s because it is so completely dominated by that five-army battle. Often brilliantly executed in 3D, there’s still a certain sense of emptiness lingering, a clear sign of the padding that has haunted the whole trilogy. Still, it’s interesting to see how darker the film is compared to the first one, and how lovingly and cleverly it sets up the Lord of the Rings series.
2014-U.S.-New Zealand. 144 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Peter Jackson. Screenplay: Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens. Novel: J.R.R. Tolkien. Song: “The Last Goodbye” (performed by Billy Boyd). Cast: Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly… James Nesbitt, Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mikael Persbrandt.
Trivia: Also released in a 164-min. version.