The bits I thought would be longer were shorter and the bits I thought were short were longer. So begins the long journey of the epic review of ‘The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug’, now pronounced smaOUg,
Hummm, well it starts off pretty well. The Peter Jackson cameo is the most obvious and somewhat funny for being so. The flash forward to the Dwarves and Bilbo Baggins running with Gandalf through beautiful landscapes reminded me of the good ole LOTR days. I realize they ran in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ but at that time I had watched it at 48 frames per second and in 3D which made the entire film seem unnatural. Finally I get back to watching these movies the right way. In 2D and 24 frames per second. Cinema bliss.
As I said, the bits I thought would be longer were short. Beorn wasn’t in this much compared to the book, Mirkwood was passed through fairly quickly unlike the book which had made it seem like a deadly maze. Everything is sped up in these parts or either I spoiled my brain having read ‘The Hobbit’ first. But then, scenes at Laketown and with Smaug seemed overly long and padded. Why not use the book stuff as padding more? I thought Mirkwood would take up a larger portion of the film’s running time. Those Spiders were pretty deadly foes in the books.
Legolas. I don’t mind the idea of the character being in this film, as a cameo! But I think there’s too much of him in this. That’s not so much a problem if it were not for the fact that he looks older than Legolas in the LOTRs and Orlando Bloom plays him as an older mature character instead of the more innocent, slightly naive and boyish Legolas in LOTR. As far as I know Elves don’t age backwards. I dare say Orlando’s portrayal of the newer ultra coolheaded Legolas just takes me out of the film at times.
Evangeline Lilly. I don’t know who she is, or why she is in this, seems a rip off of Arwen. Love story doesn’t work. Nuff said. End of.
The action in this is good but it moves at a faster pace with each sequel. That or my brain is moving at a slower one. But you know, I just think cinema alienates adults at times and “fun for all the family” is not what’s actually going down. The Barrel action scene had me in stitches of laughter because I enjoyed it so much. Laketown stuff I wasn’t as interested in. Smaug in action was good, might have been better if they weren’t padding the film with Laketown scenes inbetween. My heart is with the quest. Actually there is more action in this than people talking. Bilbo is pretty darn quiet this time round. Thorin has a bigger role although he’s character isn’t switching as fast as I expected
Smaug the Dragon is excellent. I think Cumberbatch gives a very fine performance of the dragon. It would have been nice if he and Bilbo had played a few more mind games though. Cumberbatch also plays the Necromancer in this and again it kinda comes across as a sequel to LOTRs instead of a prequel. Saurons reveal at the beginning of FOTR was a big WTF moment for the characters, especially Gandalf. Despite these events already been laid out in the books I think thematically bringing Sauron back again lessens the impact of his future appearance in LOTR. But I will save my final judgement until the final movie to see how they do it.
Movie 3, well what are they going to put in it? Cos honestly they could wrap everything up within an hour in the next film realistically. Will we see a 1 hour Dragon battle and 1 hour battle of the five armies and a 1 hour wrap up? You can feel with movie 2 Peter Jackson is trying to switch character focus here and trying to refine the film’s story. With Movie 3 he’ll have a final shot at making this just right.
Favorite Quote: “There is something about you. Something you carry, something made of gold… but far more PRECIOUS…” – Smaug