Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The World's End, Hot Fuzz)
Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men)
Richard Armitage (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek: Into Darkness)
Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Elizabethtown)
Evangeline Lilly (LOST, Real Steel)
Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, The Raven, Immortals)
Come. Step into the light!
I LOVED this second installment of The Hobbit. WAAAAAY more action-packed than the first one.
The acting was spot on and the story was brilliant. I was impressed with how closely they stayed to the book in many parts, and equally impressed with some of the liberties they took--such as including Legolas in the story as well as the made-up character Tauriel played by the beautiful Evangeline Lilly. Her character really helped bring the elves into the story more, which I'm sure will come to play more in There and Back Again.
The smaller-scale battles, the barrel ride down the river, Laketown, and ultimately the enormous treasure of Erebor were exactly what I'd hoped they'd be. My imagination was surpased in much of it. And Legolas' battle with the Orcs in Laketown was his best fight scene yet--and yes I remember him killing an Oliphant.
The real cherry on top was Smaug, portrayed in voice and facial-capturing by the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. The voice was absolutely perfect, the CG was beautiful, and Smaug himself was a mountainous force to be reckoned with.
|Benedict Cumberbatch doing voice and facial-capturing for Smaug|
(Photo taken from screencrush.com)
Factoid: Cumberbatch studied iguanas and Komodo Dragons to prepare for the role of Smaug the dragon. He provided the voice as well as facial and motion-capturing for the character, as well as voicing The Necromancer (Sauron).