Title: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I’ll start off this review by saying that I’m not unbiased towards this movie, both good and bad. I’m a huge fan of Tolkien’s work and enjoyed the “Lord of the Rings” movies a lot, and I enjoyed the first movie in this series based on The Hobbit, although I’ve been apprehensive about some of the production choices such as making this one book into a trilogy of movies.
“The Desolation of Smaug” picks up right where “An Unexpected Journey” ends. Bilbo and the dwarves are continuing to make their way towards Erebor, being chased by orcs the whole way. In the meantime, the Necromancer is continuing to exert his influence on the world.
This movie has some great moments and some bad ones, both more extreme than the first film. The visual effects, especially in regards to the dragon Smaug, are fantastic, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice was perfect. However, the story expansions such as the addition of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) to this movie didn’t sit right. These expansions feel like a desperate attempt to pad these movies into a trilogy, a complaint I had with the first movie, and it’s even worse here. This film also ends on a cliffhanger so inappropriate that some people in the audience actually yelled out, “Come on!” when it ended.
At the same time, the movie is still fun, if slow. While it has better visuals than the first movie and the action sequences are exciting, the actual plot is much slower and a victim of heavy padding. I’ll definitely be seeing the third movie, but this movie needs to be taken with a grain of salt and understood that this probably should not have been a trilogy of films because this padding is making “The Hobbit” movies pale in comparison to the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.
In Bilbo’s words – “Like butter scraped over too much bread.” The story, that is. Probably wasn’t the wisest of ideas to stretch it out into a trilogy.
I disagree with your take on Tauriel. I thought her energy, her flirting with the dwarf and the presence of Evangeline Lily was a great asset to the film. The first Hobbit film was better than The Desolation of Smaug.