The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

hobbit2desolationofsmaug_2013_poster
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • Time: 161 min
  • Genre: Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen

Storyline:

After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest–without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south?

3 reviews

  • It is no secret that the first Hobbit movie – An Unexpected Journey – was somewhat of a let down. The fact that it makes no sense to create a trilogy from a 300 pages book has often been reasonably ridiculed/criticized, and because of this unorthodox (money grabbing) approach to the source material, An Unexpected Journey suffered from serious pacing problems. And when it didn’t suffer from pacing problems, it suffered from poorly executed action scenes which looked like something that came straight out of a video game (the sequences in Goblin Town) and from unrelatable and undeveloped characters. After this disappointment, it was hard to tell what to expect from the second installment in the trilogy – The Desolation of Smaug. After watching The Desolation of Smaug, I can safely say that is, if nothing else, better than it predecessor.

    The Desolation of Smaug continues where An Unexpected Journey ended. Our party, consisting of thirteen dwarves + Bilbo (Martin Freeman) & Gandalf (Ian McKellen), are hiding from the orcs and their leader Azog (Manu Bennett). Fortunately, they find a shelter inside a house of a strange being called Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt), who is a skin-changer (shape-shifter), and they spend the night there before leaving for the strange mystical forest of Mirkwood, which is nearby. In front of the entrance to the forest, Gandalf leaves the party since he has to tend to more serious business. Without him, the dwarves + Bilbo enter Mirkwood where more adventures await.

    Without any exaggerating, I think The Desolation of Smaug is the most beautiful movie in the whole Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit franchise to date. The scenery and the cinematography are breathtakingly astonishing. It’s worth to see this movie on the big screen for the imagery alone. Everything is beautiful: from the mountains of Erebor to the haunting city of Lake-town. The Desolation of Smaug is a magnificent example of amazing eye candy. Moreover, the characters in the movie are handled better than in An Unexpected Journey. We see how Thorin’s (Richard Armitage) dedication to his goal is slowly taking the best of him, and even the other dwarves have more screen time and lines of dialogue (mainly Fili, played by Aidan Turner). Of course, I have to mention the dragon Smaug, who is definitely the movie’s best aspect. It was worth to sit through almost two whole movies to see that dragon. Benedict Cumberbatch (who also voiced The Necromancer character) did an awesome job at voicing and supplying the motion-capture for the dragon. In addition to all this things, I thoroughly enjoyed the sequences in the ‘trippy’ forest of Mirkwood, up until the elves arrived.

    Speaking of elves, they are what nearly ruined the movie for me. Prior to the release of this movie, everyone was wondering how will they deal with the character of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), a character who was completely made up for the sake of this movie. From my perspective, her character was dealt with rather poorly. She serves no actual purpose, other than being a generic romantic interest, and her whole relationship with Kili was rather cheesy – especially the dialogues. Unfortunately, the problems with elves don’t stop here – most action scenes including elves look ridiculously goofy and campy. Furthermore, the character of king Thranduil (Lee Pace), Legolas’s father, is as charismatic as a bowl of soup. Apart from the elves, the only major problem I had with the movie is its length and pacing. The Desolation of Smaug handles its pacing much better than An Unexpected Journey did, but I can’t shake the feeling the movie would have been even better if it were 20 minutes shorter. However, if you can overlook the flaws I mentioned here, you’ll probably enjoy The Desolation of Smaug more than almost every other blockbuster movie released this year.

    Rating: 8/10

    Read more reviews at http://passpopcorn.com/

  • (Rating: 3+ / 5)

    ”The Desolation Of Smaug” is the second episode of the series “The Hobbit” which wait for his third and final (for now) next chapter as an annual film as it happened in the mother saga “The Lord of the Rings” and as wants to repeat “The Hunger Games” right now. “An Unexpected Journey” was not bad, but it was too much indulgence in terms of dialogue, little action. But “The Desolation of Smaug” ends being less than it promises. There is action, but it’s still a bored film that fails to fully boot the desire to love the series “The Hobbit”. Maybe, and this sounds like an insult to the reader, that the saga has material unsuitable for Peter Jackson. It is not would be unreasonable assumption: the book of Tolkien “The Hobbit” was an introduction to “The Lord Of The Rings” written for children, ie, children’s story in which the children become familiar with the universe of the ring without falling into the overwhelming original books Although this is based on a novel (with the exception of a superfluous arguments added), Jackson seems to repeat the same structure of “The Two Towers”: round trips from one place to another, few fighters seeking help in powerful men while they remain a reluctant stance, a governor who agrees to help those fighters, powerful people who want to wage war to their fate, Gandalf deviating group setting a different path for adventure, a love story replacing Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen). But the script lacks the sense of imminent danger and pathos or simply because the essence of Hobbits is the adventure, not the epic While the battle sequence with spiders expands the echoes of “The Return of the King” (where Frodo was wrapped in spider web), the barrels are a very good moments but that qualify as best suited to the franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean”, as it is adventure. Even the great battle against the film is one huge dragon, which does not compare to a parade of hundreds of thousands of soldiers of Helm’s Deep. Peter Jackson tries to inject an epic structure where there is none, deepening characters who lack a dramatic or urgent side. Nearly two hours of quasi-boring depth, where Gandalf barely appears… and the rest of the footage is amazing Smaug, which neither his presence starts with all fury, but before attacking is allowed to talk… talk too much, while Bilbo try to find the diamond. Have been added (outside the book) some cameos in order to keep the spirit of “The Lord of the Rings” original, but not very inspired: Orlando Bloom is now the enemy to fight until the last moment, which is an interesting twist, but boycotted the consciousness of the audience as to have him as a unified entity, ie , to the viewer now this character is alien (plus his personality is not highly developed, usually appears in the sequences action). Worse, is never very clear the enmity of elves and hobbits, and romance of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) is filled. A movie for fans or patients, not for ordinary viewers (there’s no denying that the end is good, really Bilbo laments unleash the fury of the dragon) – See more at: http://reviewsandthecity.tumblr.com

  • The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug 7/10- I will start by saying that this installation of the Hobbit goes far beyond that of its predecessor. The performances, the return of previous Lord of the Rings characters, the directing, the special effects all added to a great film adaption of the best-selling book The Hobbit.

    The movie starts off with a flashback of how Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the dwarfs, first meet. This flashback helps to answers some questions from the first movie such as why Bilbo is a necessity to this journey? It then goes a year forward to where they left of with the first movie with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the thirteen dwarfs having to travel through a dark and mysterious forest that is key to them getting to the mountain on time. It is evident that Bilbo is already begun to be changed by the ring, but still the ring comes in handy quite a bit. Bilbo is a much more likable character in this installment largely because he is not a helpless little Hobbit anymore. He is actually pulling more than his own weight and actually ends up saving the group a couple times. Gandalf is also looked at differently, he was in the first movie the guy who has all of the answers and always knows what to do. Now, he is not looked at much of the wise wizard as he meets a formidable foe “the necromancer.” The movie also gives more screen time to Kili, the archer elf, which most people in the audience, including me liked as he was a fan-favorite from the first movie. Overall, the character development in this movie is skillfully written and adds a lot to the film.

    The performances were more or less the same from the first movie. Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, definitely plays more of a different character, but the quality of the performance is only a little bit better in my opinion, but still very good. Sir Ian Mckellen, who is better known as Gandalf now, delivers the same strong performance that he gave in the Lord of the Rings movies. The new characters were probably my favorite part of the performances. Orlando Bloom, who all of you know as Legolas, gave a performance that was better than that of Lord of the Rings.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty–the-hobbit-desolation-of-smaug.html

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