The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Review
The Desolation of Smaug (Hobbit 2) is the second film in a trilogy made by the writers and directors of the first Tolkien trilogy made 13 years ago. The first Tolkien Trilogy that was given many awards including The Academy award for Best Film for The Return of the King, is a sequel to this trilogy. No this prequel is not as bad as the Star Wars one, but Peter Jackson can not replace the feeling of the first time one saw Middle Earth on the big screen. As a fan of the books and films I must say that I was not a fan of the Hobbit when I was younger, which is the age that the book was written for. I loved the Lord of the Ring trilogy and enjoyed reading them multiple times when I was in middle and high school. However The Hobbit was never a book I would read more then once or twice to remind me of where the ring and certain aspects of Frodo’s past came from. Peter Jackson takes the book which is quite short for Tolkien (it was written for his children) and lengthens it to 3 three hour films.
By far the best part of the film is the last half, starting with the dwarves escape from the Mirkwood and intro of Lake town, Bilbo’s meeting with Smaug and the Dwarves attempt to kill the dragon under the mountain. Like the second film of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where they introduce more human elements into the story in Desolation of Smaug we meet the people of Lake Town and the hero ready to prove himself worthy in Bard. Unlike the second film of the LOTR trilogy where at the end Frodo thanks Sam for being with him; Desolation ends ominously more like the Empire Strikes Back.
To make the story of The Hobbit fit 9 hours of film, Peter Jackson took some liberties on the original story and pulled some events from Tokien’s Silmarillion the history of Middle Earth. Peter Jackson added in a much needed female character in Tauriel a captain of the guards of the Mirkwood Elves. She works closely with a well known elf from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Legolas. Peter also added some romance with Kili and Tauriel. I also fear that one of the dwarves who dies in the books will be kept alive in the movie.
I do have to admit that they did a good job with the 3D technology. However they over did the CGI to a point where it becomes almost too cartoony for even a fantasy story like The Hobbit. The escape from Mirkwood is a good example of this and so is the Legolas fight at the end. I am sorry to say that like Star Wars second trilogy the computer was used abundantly. The best part of the original series for both fandoms was that they were crafted by hand not by computers. I love technology but not when it is overused or could have been avoided.
Truth is that the story was enjoyable but the glaring over use of cartoony CGI hurt the movie a lot. I can not agree with people saying that Desolation of Smaug is better then Unexpected Journey and I will definitely not agree that it was better then LOTR. However I will still encourage you to go see it, because Smaug is worth it. Bathroom breaks: The bees, Gandalf leaves, & Dwarves are imprisoned.