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9.9 2 10
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After a great narration prologue, the film starts in a very interesting way, with Lake-town’s inhabitant reeling from the destruction. It’s a really effective editing choice.

Great editing throughout the Battle, the cringe and nonsensical moments were all removed, while maintaining the cohesiveness and flow of the battle.

I actually didn’t think I would like the removal of the fight between Azog and Thorin, but was the original fight really enjoyable in the first place? It’s full of cringe and goofy moments that are hard to watch, and it’s hard to remove these while still showing the movements of the fight. It was risky editing the fight like this, but it actually works. And is faithful to the books, ofc.

Overall, the entire battle sequence, with its several turns, twists, and crazy action, is much tighter and flows much better.
As a side note, if Gandalf had asked the Eagles to kill Smaug, the dragon wouldn’t have a chance…

Congrats for all this work! I’ve seen a few edits of The Hobbit, including 3-to-1 film and 3-to-2 films edits. In terms of maintaining the original 3-film structure while improving pretty much all there is to improve, this is my go-to version.

Disclaimer: I’ve watched DonkeyKonga’s trilogy before release, and made a few (minor) suggestions to the author that ended in the final version. My review is not changed by that, though.

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