The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second in line of the Hobbit trilogy, and it looks like this trilogy franchise is going to be just as good, if not better than its predecessor, the Lord of the Rings.
In movie 2, we are again following the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), as he journeys along with partner Gandalf (Ian McKellan), thirteen dwarves and Thorin (Richard Armitage) as they quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor.
Oh God, I just developed asthma and a desire to play â€œMagic; The Gatheringâ€ as I wrote that last paragraph. However, even though it sounds nerdy, itâ€™s actually just plain awesome.
Letâ€™s get started with the visual awesomeness, which probably could have carried the movie on its own, if the acting had been bad. Director Peter Jackson again gives us a world that is whimsical, without making it too over the top. Filmed in New Zealand, the scenery stays realistic, but keeps up the otherworldly feel necessary for a fantasy based movie. [more…]
Onto the screenplay, which was a loose adaptation of the actual book. The screenplay was a bit more mature than the original slim novel, but that was necessary for the more adult movie going crowd. For example, when female elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) is searching one of the characters after capturing them, they have the following exchange;
â€œArenâ€™t you going to search me?â€ Kili (Aidan Turner) asks. â€œI could have anything down my trousers.â€
â€œOr nothingâ€ Tauriel replies.
Elf/dwarf sexual tension aside, the movie features snappy dialog and just enough comic relief to ease the tension and keep the laughs coming.
Freeman shines again as the loveable hobbit Bilbo Baggins and I think it is safe to say we canâ€™t expect anything less than brilliance from Ian McKellan. My only gripe was than Gandalf spent too much time off screen. Hopefully, heâ€™ll be around for a lot more in the 3rd installment.
In case you were wondering about the title â€œThe Desolation of Smaugâ€, â€œSmaugâ€™ isnâ€™t a town. Itâ€™s a dragon. A talking dragon, to be specific, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
I also enjoyed the addition of a strong female character. Tauriel was never a part of the books and to be honest, most of Tolkienâ€™s books were male-centered, with very few females taking any serious leads, aside from pining away, waiting for their man-folk to come home. I appreciated the fact that the writers were able to write a strong female character, and still make her fit the background of the story.
For those who were disappointed by the first version of The Hobbit, they can rest assured that number 2 in the series really ups its game. I think a big part of this comes from Jackson taking some major risks with the screenplay, which really paid off in the end.
A word of warning to those who arenâ€™t familiar with the way these movies work, expect a mass groan from the audience at the end, as it does end in a pretty hefty cliffhanger. Itâ€™s the kind of cliffhanger that makes you want to tear your hair out. Instant gratification types should probably wait until the whole series is available on video.
Here’s the trailer below.Â If you have seen the movie, leave a review and earn some points!!