Being the second instalment in the hobbit trilogy, a Tolkien fan would expect a faithful adaptation of the book (well, they would be furious after watching the film). A casual movie goer would expect a solid entertainer (which it is). A movie lover, like me, (although I have read the hobbit book) who doesn’t really mind changes from source material, as long as they are acceptable, (would love a film like this). The Desolation of Smaug (I will use TDOS, for simplicity) represents a huge improvement over the previous hobbit film (An Unexpected Journey), which although I loved as well, felt it suffered in the pacing and too many unnecessary scenes that were added, TDOS is a better film as the story is good, the action is relentless, and the pacing is well done. So let’s get to the real questions that need to be answered.
1)Is it Better or even close to the LOTR trilogy?
Ans. The Hobbit trilogy acts as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy (which are one of my most favourite movies of all time) doesn’t live up to the achievement’s as much as LOTR trilogy did and I don’t think to intend it ever will. So my answer is a big NO, but I am still ready to accept these movies without comparing them, because they are still good movies.
2)What didn’t work with the film?
-TDOS is good, but that obviously doesn’t mean that it is perfect. There are some scenes in this movie which are unintentionally hilarious, but that is not really the problem here. There is a romantic subplot in this movie, which is a romance between an elf and a dwarf, which I felt was simply added to this film for unknown reasons and felt forced and didn’t make much of a change to what the film is.
-Although the film trilogy is titled the hobbit, this film seems to be more focused on the character of Thorin Oakenshield (the leader of the band of 13 dwarves). Although it is decent enough to watch, it feels like it is diverting away from the spirit of what the book wanted to be.
-This was my biggest problem with the movie, although there are a few scenes which are thrilling, it never feels like an exciting thrilling action film, because these characters are so good at fighting, you just don’t feel the fear of the situations they are in, you know that by all means they will survive. So it is like watching an action sequence for the fun of it.
3)What may/may not work?
-The film’s ending- I won’t spoil it, but it is a major cliff-hanger that may anger a few audiences as they will have to wait for a whole year to see the final chapter (I literally yelled, “Don’t end it there, common “). But now that I think about it, I loved that ending, but I would like to know your opinions on that.
-The introduction of Legolas and Tauriel, I loved the idea of bringing back legolas in the film ( although he never appears in the book), it was a welcome return. I had mixed feelings for the entry of Tauriel (a character that was a pure creation, not from any of the books in the franchise), she is a bad-ass in a couple of action scenes, but the romantic subplots that involve her are not really great to watch.
-The film’s action sequences are nice to watch, although I complained earlier that you don’t feel a sense of danger, it is still really good to watch and there are scenes which are so inventive, there is a point you just want to laugh because it is so good, you will understand when you see the film, especially the barrel sequence.
-The film’s pacing is so much better than the first hobbit movie, it is a fast paced adventure.
-The appearance of Smaug, the voice was brilliant by Benedict Cumberbatch (you might know him from Star Trek into Darkness, he played the villain). The dragon was magnificent.
-The sceneries and tone of the film are much better than the first film.
-The visual effects in the film are some of the best I have ever seen (just see the dragon).
-The acting is well done, especially Martin Freeman’s performance as the titular character Bilbo Baggins.
-The return of Legolas the archer was great fun to watch
-The film’s score by Howard Shore is wonderful.
In nearly every way, this film is better than the first hobbit film and leaves you excited, way too excited for the final chapter in the trilogy. I am going with a massive……………………………..4/5 stars.
Please watch this movie it is a damn good one.
Until the next blog