This one has me feeling slightly depressed.
It’s astonishing, given the brevity of Tolkien’s story and the hours of screen time expended, how many of the novel’s memorable incidents are nevertheless omitted, abbreviated or conflated. The story flies as quickly as possible past Beorn and the horrors of Mirkwood, presumably on the theory that the sooner Bloom and Lily are onscreen the better.
The best review I found, written by…..someone who never read the book:
This second Hobbit movie was for me not just a pleasure, but a revelation. For the first time, I “got” the JRR Tolkien/Peter Jackson experience. I tuned into the frequency. I tasted the fusion cuisine. I heard the eccentric but weirdly rousing choral harmonies. And this is despite – or more probably because of – never having been a Tolkien fan and being agnostic about the myth-making and, indeed, the prose quality.
And then there’s this:
There has been a fair amount of outrage already spilled on the Internet about how Bilbo has been reduced to a secondary character and how the action sequences go on for far too long. But honestly, I didn’t have a problem with either aspect of the movie. Unlike the first “Hobbit,” which spent an undue amount of time trying to develop characters that we never would really care about, this one is more interested in the chase.
So do you care whether or not the movie remains true to the general character of the book, or are you just looking for some Middle Earth in your life and you’ll take it any way you can get it?