Desolation of Smaug: Review

desolationofsmaugreview

 

If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, it has exploded with very opinionated thoughts on this movie. I’ll be keeping spoilers very clearly marked in this review.

Desolation of Smaug I would say is the least like the book of any of Jackson’s Middle Earth movies. I am by no means a book purist, but this movie had me going, ‘why?’. Primarly because the scenes that were lifted from the book were so incredibly well done. Even the harshest critics, that I’ve heard, sing the praises of the perfection that is Bilbo meeting Smaug. And Smaug? This is 2013, we’re fantasy and science fiction fans- we’ve seen alot of dragons. Smaug blows them all away. Smaug is magnificent.

The spiders in Mirkwood were terrifying. That scene was also amazing– and may give me nightmare at some point in time.

…And then we have Laketown. I would rather forget that whole part of the movie exists, it felt like they were trying to make the movie more dramatic! And higher the stakes! You have a fire breathing dragon and Sauron threatening to rise…aren’t the stakes high enough?

It felt like they were trying to throw all these extra storylines in which left me asking why?

The biggest lacking in this movie is there is very little Bilbo. Sure, he’s there, but he’s background character for most of the movie. What makes the first Hobbit movie so good is Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Bilbo, Desolation of Smaug would be a better movie with more focus on Bilbo.

I have a theory. Maybe it’s a hope. I think that next year when the inevitable extended edition comes out, the plot lines will be filled out and make more sense and be less jarring. Or so that’s my hope. A friend described this movie as high budget fan fiction. That is so accurate, this movie would have been better called ‘The Hobbit: Vaguely Inspired by the Book’.

I want to see it again, to see if a second viewing will make the crazy changes seem to flow better…and to see Smaug on the big screen again.

SPOILERS BELOW

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Tauriel. I liked her. I thought she was a good character. The romance with Kili? Really? I wasn’t buying it. And why? The logic behind this move by Jackson is lost on me. When she’s healing him and the glow, I didn’t start laughing but I thought about.

Laketown. Oh Laketown. Ahh…I get it, you want to make Bard more important, but this whole part of the movie just had me shaking my head.

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2 comments

  1. I enjoyed the first 3/4ths a lot and then for me the movie lost some of its momentum. The elves were fantastic — Thranduil is awesome, Legolas is awesome, Tauriel is awesome. I have a feeling they’re setting up the elf-dwarf romance to kill them both off and tug on our heartstrings in the last movie. I don’t really have an opinion on the romance — I don’t care that it’s there, and I wouldn’t care if it wasn’t. I thought the Laketown stuff was kind of boring, I don’t care about Bard, and that last 20 minutes of chasing Smaug around and burying him in molten gold was just meh. You’re right, it needs more Bilbo and I suspect the EE will smooth things out a lot — PJ has a habit of cutting everything EXCEPT his action scenes. Still, I did enjoy it very much and… next year we may get to see Galadriel in actual battle. I hope. Please, PJ?

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