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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug | Movie Review


By: Cynthia A.

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Directed by: Peter Jackson

Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro

Based on The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt & Orlando Bloom

Following the events of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Bilbo Baggins continues on his journey alongside Thorin Oakenshield and his band of Dwarves on their Quest to take back the Dwarven Kingdom under the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug.  On their Journey, they meet new friends and enemies and one very greedy dragon, putting their lives, and those of others, in great peril.

Where to begin, now that is the question isn’t it? This movie was marvelous.  The Hobbit is the prequel to the all too familiar Lord of the Rings trilogy, taking place 60 years before those events.

The movie picks up where the last movie left off, kicking off with a fast pace that made the time fly by, and considering the movie is 2 hours and 41 minutes long, that’s not a bad thing.  It’s always a bad thing when you have to look at your watch.  This movie gripped you with the fast pace and the story development.  As they continue on to their journey.  That adds to the beauty of the movie and the writing, at least for the first hour and 41 minutes, but I’ll get to my reservations in a bit.  Each character had strength and a funny bone, well, not each character, but for the most part, it was an incredibly hilarious movie, aside from that last hour.

The movie was artistically beautiful.  The cinematography of the movie was spellbinding, captivating from the very last set detail to costume design.  The end result of the movie was both beautiful and breathtaking.  The detail to the characters and their world, the smooth and sharp detail was amazing to behold.  Then there were the special effects and the CGI animation, especially of that of Smaug.  That was amazing.  The last time there was a dragon that looked so real, so beautiful, ferocious and magnificent was in Eragon.  However, unlike Rachel Weisz, Benedict Cumberbatch voiced that character with emotion; he gave that character life and was expressive.  Then again, he is an amazing actor and a great choice for this character.

Now, granted, the story and the movie was amazing, but the biggest issue here lies within the last hour of the movie as well as with Peter Jackson.  With the Lord of the Rings Triogy, Jackson purely adapted those.  However, with this movie, he took to many liberties with it.  Jackson built some of the story was built from the stories and appendixes of other books by Tolkein, but some of the story was purely from the imagination of Jackson and his collogues, like Tauriel.  Now, while I think Evangeline Lilly was better suited for this character than in Lost and the writers made her character work in this world, clearly understanding the world of Tolkein, created purely by the imagination.  However much I applaud the introduction of a strong female character, from a writer’s standpoint, it bothers me that Jackson has felt the need to add so much to make another trilogy for his own satisfaction.

That being said, it was still an amazing movie that builds around the original trilogy, adding more strength and story to it.  Wherever Tolkein is, I’m sure he’s not turning in his grave.  ★★★☆ (B+)

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