The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review

The sequel to Peter Jackson’s previous Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, is a good time if you go in wanting dragons, but does little to satisfy the needs of avid Tolkien fans or movie-goers expecting more than a fire-filled final act.smaug and bilbo

The Desolation of Smaug has a whole of three major fights/conflicts in it: One near the beginning involving spiders, one near the end of the beginning involving orcs, and one at the end which takes up a whopping thirty plus minutes filled to the brim with dwarves being chased by a dragon. The problem here is that this time chart still leaves us with an unaccounted for two hours in the three hour movie, meaning that two thirds of your time in the theater will be listening to small talk between characters. Now, it’s a realistic approach to the cinematic representation of would-be heroes, as not every band of good guys can be out fighting the good fight every waking moment, but two full hours of shenanigans and conversations with dwarves can put an audience to sleep, as my yawning movie-going compatriots can attest.

With that said, the movie is good by all accounts which is why I have a hard time saying why I didn’t really like it. The cast is great, with Martin Freeman continuing his lovable Bilbo from An Unexpected Journey and Orlando Bloom being his obnoxiously attractive self. And lest we forget Benedict Cumberbatch, Smaug himself. Out of all the performances, Cumberbatch’s seems to be the best, and I’m pretty sure it’s just because of the awesome voice filter they put on all of his lines. Really, I was beyond captivated for the final thirty minute showdown with Smaug, all the way up until the shitty cliff-hanger ending (spoiler).

The best way I can illustrate why this movie didn’t seem very good initially was because it felt like I was watching the middle twenty minutes in a sixty minute episode of The Mentalist. I don’t really know what’s going on and while what I’m watching is well done, it feels out of place with my having not seen the before or after bits of it. So, with that said, I recommend you see The Desolation of Smaug in 2014 when most theatres will be showing all three Hobbit films back-to-back. Only then will The Desolation of Smaug feel like a complete adventure and not some disjointed three-hour long trailer for part three.

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3 Responses

  1. The film was too long

    The Orcs were the most useless bunch of bad guys ever. Only one dwarf sustained a wound. And Legolas and Tauriel (just the two of them) got the best of every Orc they faced.

    Jackson is repeating himself – Wasnt there a big bad spider in LOTR3?
    Didn’t Gandalf and Sauron fight to the death? And now he brings Sauron back.How many times is Martin Freeman’s Bilbo character going to take the ring out and look it.

    We get it. This is a prequel. He doesn’t know what he has..

    Finally there wasn’t much humor in this one. In fact none. Thorin never even smiles once. At least in the first one we had those silly trolls, and the dwarves consuming every last crumb in Bilbo’s home.

    Finally, Smaug – though it was a superb bit of film-making – I didn’t get why the dragon lived buried in the gold and treasure. It’s not as if he could trot off to the tailor shop and have a few suits made to order.

    Loved your last sentence..

    • I agree with almost everything, especially the Smaug bit. What’s he doing with all of those shiny bits and bobbles, other than prepping his audition for Hoarders?

      In response to the “no humor” comment, I recall one bit in which the hunky dwarf says something to the effect of “who knows what I might have down my trousers” and Tauriel says “or nothing at all”. But other than that one instance, you’re right, I can’t remember much humor, other than Bilbo’s rambling with Smaug.

  2. I find it strange that after all the LOTR films that have come and gone and people still don’t rewatch the previous film before going into something like this.
    When did Gandelf and Sauron fight to the death? Sauron has never actually been in any of the films as a humunoid other than in a flashback.
    As for Bilbo always looking at the ring (THE ONE RING!!) doesn’t it consume all who come into contact with it? Why should Bilbo be any different?
    They’ve been on a long journey and imo is no place for humour, it’s not an episode of Doctor Who!
    I’m sure Peter Jackson has added parts to compliment LOTR and that of which I am greatful.

    This all sound like The Two Towers all over again!

    I watched the 1st Hobbit an hour before this and thought it was great! It ended much more abruptly than any of the others but so what, it’s a middle section of a story. Peter Jackson has already proved he come put a very fitting trilogy together so I’m happy to leave it in his hands and not complain before I’ve seen it all.

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