Thursday, January 9, 2014

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
directed by Peter Jackson
starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more.

I saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug a little after Christmas. I'm sure many people have seen the film by now, as it's been out for a few weeks. It was a really good film. It's nice building up the anticipation and excitement to see the next in this movie trilogy, just as it had been when I first found out about the Lord of the Ring movies and just as it will be when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released.

When I first found out about the Lord of the Rings movie it was through a coming attractions tv show. After finding out it was based on a book, I scrambled to read the first book in the three... four months?... leading up to the first movie release. After the third movie had been released, I had read all three books and the prequel: The Hobbit. I haven't re-read them since and part of me thinks that maybe I should but the other part of me enjoys re-discovering what happens in The Hobbit through the films.




Bilbo, the dwarves, and Gandalf are still trekking along on their way to the Lonely Mountain, hoping to eventually reclaim their gold, jewels, and home from the dragon, Smaug. They make their way through the home of Beorn, the shape-shifter who turns into a bear. He guards them and lets them get a moment of rest from the orcs that are on their tail. The company divides. Gandalf takes off to warn Radagast the Brown about the Necromancer. Bilbo and the dwarves travel through Mirkwood and we get our first introduction to Legolas the elf. The company travels to Lake Town. Here we meet Bard. Bard is a descendant of the guy who was charged with killing Smaug when he first attacked Lake Town and took over the Lonely Mountain.

Obviously that guy didn't kill Smaug. Bilbo and company eventually make their way inside the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo goes alone at first, after all, that's been his whole purpose for coming with the company of dwarves. He's the thief to take back the prized jewel of the dwarves that will allow them to reclaim their home. Things don't go smoothly at all and the movie ends with Smaug soaring off to attack Lake Town.

The movie was very long but that's how I like these Peter Jackson films. I missed being able to walk away from the film with a song in my head. There was good music, a good score but I LOVED the song the dwarves sang in An Unexpected Journey. A catchy song like that doesn't fit in with the mood and themes of the second film though so I'm not really upset about it.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Bard. I couldn't tell what this guy would do next. He seemed like a friend to the company at first but then he wanted to turn them away.

The relationship forming between Fili and Tauriel is super cute. I liked the continuity of the way elfin magic is portrayed. It absolutely brought back memories of the first film and seeing Arwen try to heal Frodo after he was stabbed by the Ringwraith.

Legolas was great. It was a lot of fun seeing him run across the dwarf heads after they had left Mirkwood. His father was so cool and so creepy yet beautiful at the same time. The dwarves got on my nerves when they couldn't find the secret door to the Lonely Mountain. They had travelled so far and gone through so much that it bugged me when they were willing to give up after not finding the door after a few tries.

All in all, this movie was great. I expect more fighting, more killing and more singing to come in the third film. Oh! And I didn't even mention the uber cool introduction of Sauron in this film. He's the man. He's the eye. He's coming to get ya! It was so cool the way he appeared.

-O.Pelaez

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