The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)
A Bad Movie Studios Review
Now that the movie has been out for a few weeks, here’s part 2 of my Hobbit review, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I won’t spend as much time talking about this film as I did the last one, because I actually talked about some of the more significant features of this movie in my Best of 2013 list. Go check that out by the way, it would please me. Well anyway, Desolation of Smaug made it onto that list and you don;t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that I like this movie and that I’m probably going to recommend it. But a review is about more than just recommending a film, it’s about explaining why I recommend it.
The very blatant thing about this film that I noticed first is that right from the get go is that if you never saw the first film, you wont have a single clue what’s going on. That seems like an obvious thing when you;re dealing with a sequel, but I still felt that I should mention it. If I hadn’t seen The Hobbit literally minutes before Desolation of Smaug, I wouldn’t have any Idea what was going on for a while too. Taking into consideration that if you’re going to watch Desolation of Smaug, that you’ve probably seen it’s predecessor.
Something that bothered me about The Hobbit was the vast amount of CGI in the film. The Lord of the Rings used CGI to convenient effect. The Hobbit used it so much and so often that it actually kind of took me out of the movie a little bit. With Lord of the Rings, yes I know there’s a lot of CG, but It’s the practical effects and massive landscapes with largely built structures that make those movies visual treats for me. The Hobbit doesn’t feel like that. It feels like it was trying to be large and vast like LOTR but didn’t achieve the same effect especially with the increased use of computer effects. Desolation of Smaug felt like it corrected this for the most part. The movie feels smaller, tighter and legitimately feels like an extension of itself rather than being tied to something else (LOTR). There’s still a lot of CG, and some if it is nonsensical (like the CG Legolas in one of the battle sequences for example) but I can stomach it more because it doesn’t feel like I have to look at it for too long.
The best thing about this movie to me is that it’s a 3 hour film, and the first in a while, that I’ve seen that didn’t feel like 3 hours. I can’t tell you if there were more action scenes in the movie or not but it did feel like it moved a lot faster than the last film. I felt myself being very interested in the events that unfolded, and the movie does increase the amount of side stories a little bit but it still flows pretty well. And it makes the main plot-line a much more grand situation than it was in the last film but it’s done in a way that keeps it simple so it doesn’t become a problem. And when things wrapped up in the (non)ending I was disappointed because I wanted to see more.
Most of the cast from the last movie shows up again for this one, and there are even some inclusions this time around that are all done pretty well. But the single stand out character in this movie is Smaug. Smaug is the dragon, and for the most part, main antagonist of the film. You got to see bits and pieces of him in The Hobbit in a flash back sentience that sets up the plot and its a great tease because he doesn’t show up for the rest of the movie. So it builds a decent anticipation to see him. The second movie gives you a feast of visual goodness over the dragon. He’s a major fixture of the third act and you are inundated with the sight of him. He’s an awesome character, thanks mostly due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s great performance. He does an awesome job as the dragon, really making him seem like a sinister and believable villain. He’s a total highlight of the film and the series in general.
Everything else that there is to talk about with this movie is pretty basic. The soundtrack is good, a decent score that fits the franchise. The acting is good, backed by a really good cast. The effects are for the most part okay, looking decent, although sometimes they do feel a bit fake. But I have noticed that the movie looks better without the 3D effects than it does with it. With it there seems to be a problem with the background and foreground blending properly when there is something live action on screen. But that’s a minor issue. I highly recommend this movie. It was a lot of fun to watch, and felt like another romp through good old Middle-Earth again. Definitely check it out.
Final Score – 8.5 out of 10.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review (jaycubhughz.wordpress.com)
- The Desolation of Smaug – too little butter to much bread (timothyrhaslett.wordpress.com)
- Hobbit 2: The desolation of Smaug Review (hkaurmedia.wordpress.com)
- ‘The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug’ Review: CGI and action dominant a great middle chapter (theglobaldispatch.com)
- Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (cinemathroughmyeyes.wordpress.com)
- Film Review. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (ivoter.com)
- Thoughts on The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (ellenvgregory.com)