Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Hobbit - The Desolation Of Smaug

There is nothing like a Christmas return to Middle Earth. I know there are many who find these Hobbit movies too long and not faithful to the original Tolkien novel but I disagree. I can't get enough of the extra stuff that really brings this whole saga to life. I am sure that one day they will make the Cliff Notes version of the entire 20 plus hour epic (including both The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings) but for the time being I want to soak it all in because once it's done there will never be anymore movies like this series ever again.

Bilbo has more to do this time and really proves himself invaluable to the dwarves. He no longer needs to prove his worth.

I also loved the addition of Evangaline Lily as Tauriel, the Elf Warrior who finds kinship with the dwarves and aides them in their quest at recovering their homeland. Lily is very beautiful but also very expressive. I felt her pain at wanting to be a part of a larger world. I know she is totally made up and not a part of the original story but why can't there be ONE female character of substance in a story that is made up entirely of males?

The set pieces and action sequences are insane as you would expect from Peter Jackson. I particularly loved the battle with the orcs while the dwarves were stuck in barrels and racing down a fast flowing river. The scene is Smaug's treasure chamber is worth the price of admission alone for the sheer spectacle of it. Smaug's arrival does not disappoint.

Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is back but for some reason he seems older, more angry Elf than we come to know in the later films (chronologically). The Legolas of LOTR seems less world weary or experienced than the Legolas we see in The Hobbit appears to be.

This time I felt the quest was more like an actual journey with a time limit to get to a certain place and time if the dwarves hoped to enter the Lonely Mountain. That drives the narrative and makes the movie just fly by. I also understand the Dwarves more. They are self centered pricks but so are the Elves and the Orc and most everyone else in this story. But that is okay with me. I like complicated motivations and characters that express what they are thinking honestly because in their world it is comfortable to do so.
The is also so much to look at - so much beauty on the screen that my eyes can barely take it all in after only one viewing. I am already looking forward to watching the first two next December in anticipation for the final chapter in this classic tale.

It would have been too much if the rest of the story had to be confined to only this one movie - not with the luxurious way that Peter Jackson has put together his Middle Earth masterpiece. I am happy to wait for the resolution of a great tale because the telling has been so well done up to this point.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this!

Nerd Out With Me said...

I'm heading out in an hour to go watch it. I read The Hobbit every fall and love how Peter Jackson handled this book (so far) and LOTR. I worked at a movie theater back when Fellowship came out and watched it after hours around 15 times. Yeah... it's like that.

Kal said...

I hope you enjoy it. I really liked this one more. More bang for the buck storywise, character wise. And most of the Elves come off as a bunch of dickheads as much as most of the dwarves do.

Anonymous said...

Nice review Kal. Smaug more than makes up for the fact that Gollum isn't in the film and apparently Gollum won't be in the next film, so more Smaug is definitely a big plus.

Kal said...

Thanks Dan. I like your stuff too.

Kal said...

Thanks Dan. I like your stuff too.