Movie Review — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

by Ryan on December 14, 2013

in Anything Else,Culture,Media,Pop Culture

The second part of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug (TDOS), hit theaters this weekend with most wondering how it would compare to last year’s first installment.  Here’s the trailer:

No significant plot spoilers, but some won’t make sense if you didn’t read the book

While a number of critics had a field-day knocking the first film for taking too long to get into the action, the same cannot be said about TDOS!  We’re right into the thick of things after an important pre-credit flashback.  In fact, the 2:40 run-time wasn’t a problem at all — when the film ended, I wanted more!

Jackson took a few liberties with the storyline, but got the important things right — I was hoping Jackson didn’t mess with the spiders scene (he didn’t), and I was hoping the CGI people would be able to pull off Smaug (which they did).  So, adding a kick-ass female elf, some spookiness at Dol Guldur, and more orc decapitations didn’t seem to detract from the main gist of the film.  In fact, the orcs really enhanced the classic barrel-riding scene, which actually seemed more fun in the movie than the in book’s depiction — you won’t read that in one of these reviews very often!

My opinion still holds that The Hobbit could have been made into two, solid three-hour films, but BIG dollar signs will not be ignored.  However, as a film TDOS was definitely better than the first film — more action, more plot, and (for the most part) more development and complexity.  I’d give it an A, a caveat being that one must see the first film to know what’s going on in this one.

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