The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

Vastly better than the first installment, definitely avoided the feeling of padding and stretching that plagued that one. However, you should go into it realizing that this is not a movie adaptation of the Tolkien novel, but rather a prequel to Jackson’s LOTR trilogy. It is just as dark as LOTR, with little if any of the fairy tale charm and whimsy of the novel. Jackson makes sure we all know that Smaug is not the REAL villain of the piece and that’s frankly a little disappointing; it diminishes the dragon’s power a bit, especially considering the subplot of Gandalf and the “Necromancer” still feels unnecessary. Martin Freeman does an excellent turn as Bilbo. You can see the growth of the character since the first installment and hints of what he will become in LOTR. Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the dragon is, well, Benedict Cumberbatch with every line of dialogue distorted like his infamous “My name is Khan” line from Star Trek Into Darkness. Tauriel, the lone major female character, is well-enough presented that she fits in and doesn’t comes across as an add-on. Legolas, on the other hand…I was left wondering why he was there, what his character added to the plot that couldn’t have been accomplished with another elf. Bard is developed well, and the dwarves, particularly Kili and Balin, have enough stand out materiel to keep them interesting. I saw it in 3D, a technology that is vastly improved from even a few years ago, but not the controversial high frame rate cut. Maybe some other time. The special effects are mostly good, though there were a few long shots of orcs that made me feel like I was running a quest in World of Warcraft. Overall, the movie was a mighty improvement that let me looking forward to the next one.

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One Response to “The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug”

  1. […] The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug December 24th, 2013 — “Vastly better than the first installment, definitely avoided the feeling of padding and stretching that plagued that one. However, you should go into it realizing that this is not a movie adaptation of the Tolkien novel, but rather a prequel to Jackson’s LOTR trilogy. It is just as dark as LOTR, with little if any […]” […]

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