What most foreigners don't appreciate about The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy is that they aren't fantasy movies. They are real life documentaries set in modern day New Zealand.
The greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the movie going audiences of the planet is that Weta Workshop is some magical cinematic monster making factory akin to a Dungeons & Dragons Willy Wonka. It's a lie. Peter Jackson jumps on the back of a ute and waves a camera around and just films real life as it happens with no special effects required.
Hobbits are from Wellington, An Elf comes from Auckland, Dwarves are anyone living in the South Island and the Orcs are Australians on vacation.
100% Middle Earth isn't a tourism slogan, it's a literal rendering of the facts for tourism insurance purposes.
The Hobbit and the killing of Smaug the dragon all happened last year and you'd know this if Fox News wasn't constantly suppressing the fact that Mordor has fallen to Aragon years ago. Apparently Sauron is a major share holder in 20th Century Fox, and news of the destruction of the ring in Mt Doom would hurt his stock price.
The worst thing about the Nazgul are their smell. It's awful if they sit next to you on the bus.
So the Hobbit opens with nonunionized dwarven miners being roasted to death by a corporate dragon who has no issue with exploitation. This leads to worker resentment and a scheme to retake their capital investment with an independent contract arrangement that ropes Bilbo Baggins into it.
Like every stoner Hobbit who thinks the grass is greener in West Australia, Bilbo joins the collective agreement and they all set off with a gay pot smoking Wizard from Parliamentary services.
Trolls, bunny rabbit powered sleds and giant spiders pretty much spells out a normal Tuesday afternoon for most New Zealanders but here Peter Jackson manages to take the everyday and make it last so very much longer.
Friends are tested, adventures had and protagonists find themselves challenged and overcoming of trials and tribulations.
I think there were 2 stone giants too many for my liking.
3 and a half stars