The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug

December 16, 2013 By Mike B
Movie Review

The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug film review

What Worked?

Peter Jackson continues the tale of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and Gandalf, as they push on in their quest to reclaim Erebor. Last year, the Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey was released, starting a new trilogy in the Lord of the Rings world. Many agreed that the first installment of the new trilogy wasn’t as epic or as magical as the first time around, but it was suitable enough. Martin Freeman, Ian Mckellan, and Richard Armitage are all back to continue the journey. Newcomers Evangeline Lilly and Luke Evans enter the scene, along with a familiar face: Orlando Bloom, reprising his role as Legolas.

Once again, Jackson paints a remarkable picture of a magical world with elves, dwarfs, orcs, giant spiders, and a dragon to top it off. Visually, this film is a great example of going all-in with CGI; it does it beautifully, without ever being disruptive. From a dragon dipped in gold, to Bilbo plopped on top of a wave of colorful trees in the Elven forest, this film has some tasty visuals. Jackson picks up the pace in this part of the journey, as it has enough laughs, action, and drama to go around.

Ian Mckellan is comfortable as usual playing Gandalf, the wise wizard that’s game for an adventure, and Martin Freeman does very well playing Bilbo Baggins, as we get to see a little more of the hatefulness the ring can bring about in Baggins, as well as the courage it seems to instill in him. Tauriel is introduced to us for the first time, and played wonderfully by Evangeline Lilly. She’s a caring elf that can slit your throat and put an arrow through your heart with the best of them, and she does it in more ways then one. Richard Armitage, playing Thorin Oakenshield the courageous brute that’s looking to regain his throne, continues to excel in the role. Of course, we can’t forget Orlando Bloom’s return as Legolas; although it isn’t as epic as your expectations, it is still a serviceable performance. Legolas versus Bolg is also pretty fun. Last but not least, Benedict Cumberbatch gives Smaug an amazing and appropriate voice.

While the Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug still isn’t up to par with any film from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s still a fun, enchanting, and entertaining cinematic experience.

Potential Drawbacks:

Plain and simple, this is still a tale that could’ve been told in two films or less. It seems that there isn’t enough plot material to draw from because it’s coming from a single book. The film is held back by middle-chapter storytelling, and it somewhat takes away from this film. The title is also a bit misleading, because Smaug is just on his way to make the title true. Overall, there isn’t enough to make this film remarkably memorable. With all the action and jokes, it still feels like there’s not enough new story to tell.

Film Recommendations:

The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey

Lord of the the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring

Lord of the Rings: Two Towers


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