Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" MOVIE REVIEW


The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

The Review

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit considered to be a timeless tale and its success a pinnacle to the fantasy genre. Successful enough for the author to work on it's sequel, Lord Of The Rings considered to be THE greatest among them. Less than a century later, Hollywood's live-action adaptation of Lord Of The Rings astounds the entire world, becoming one of the best trilogies of all time. But what of The Hobbit?

At this point, it is obvious that the book will be separated into three films; first act (An Unexpected Journey), second act (The Desolation of Smaug) and the third act (There And Back Again). The separation has it's advantages and sadly some disadvantages as well. Like the first installment, their's no doubt An Unexpected Journey and this film dragged at times. Their also seems to very little character development as the movie takes its time to fill in enough for the one you're watching but would leaving sufficient material for the next one. But Director Peter Jeckson has a few answers for the gaps that includes additional characters, plot points and over-exaggerating a scene or two, actually quite a few of them. 

One of the best things about the film is the cast. Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) was surprisingly one of the highlights of the movie, expanded with her growing romance with Kili (Aidan Turner). Also, Legolas is back. Yeah? remember that guy Hanna Montana (or Miley Cyrus before she turned into a Bizarro-version of herself) used to really crush on? Yeah, Orlando Bloom! He's back as Legolas. Younger, more agressive and surprisingly a jackass just like his old man, Thranduil (Lee Pace). Also, Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt) the skin-changer had very little screen time in this film. Then there's Bard (Luke Eavns, Orlando Bloom v.2) who did a pretty good job in his role, but surprisingly had more to do in the film than in the book. Lastly, we have the undeniably (one of, if not the) best dragon in a live-action film; Smaug, brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch. Even if only being present in the third act of the film, Smaug has given enough suspense of being malevolent not only to Bilbo and the pack, but also to the audience as well. You think it's funny how a CG dragon is the best character of the movie, wait till you see the movie itself. 

Even if the certain aspect was received with mixed reviews, I would personally say that the 480 fps worked perfectly for this film. The film looking brighter than ever, thus reminding us the tonal difference of this film from The Lord Of The Rings. The film has also spectacular set pieces and landscape shots of New Zealand just looks gorgeous as you could remember it. Gladly, the movie had more action sequences in it. The filmmakers though has decided to over-exaggerate these scenes. Which in the viewer's perspective, could either add up the entertainment value or just seem to over the top and a bit out of proportion. Also, the movie has top-notch CG but no need to elaborate that, we already knew it since the first film. 

Final Verdict

With the second act of the booked stretched to have its own first, second and third act, Desolation of Smaug still feels hauled yet satisfying enough as a filler between the first film and the third film. There is enough goodies to entertain Tolkien fans, but casual viewers might feel that unlike The Lord Of The Rings films, there isn't enough material three films. Honestly, there could have been just two films. 

Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt and Stephen Hunter. "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" is directed by Peter Jackson. The film is produced by Peter Jackson, Carolyne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug opens in theaters on December 13, 2013. 

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