Movie Review #3: The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug
Even someone who say this movie and hated it has to admit that if one thing shines in this movie, it is the absolutely amazing animated dragon: Smaug. This dragon is without any doubt the best CGI dragon to ever grace the silver screen. He is so well done, even if you hate The Lord of the Rings franchise, go see this movie for Smaug. You won't be disappointed.
Plot: 4.8 out of 5
This movie was unique from Peter Jackson's other adaptions in the way that this one deviates very heavily from the source material, however he does it in such a good way I didn't mind (even as an avid Tolkien fan). One of the major characters in this movie, a female elf by the name Tauriel, was completely invented by Peter Jackson and company. However, a lack of female characters in the book, and some much needed romanticism proved her a welcome addition. The idea of her falling in love with a dwarf was at first utter heresy, but the more I think about it, the more I think it is entirely plausible. The story was elongated from that of the novel, but only in good ways. The Desolation of Smaug is a major improvement on its predessesor, An Unexpected Journey, because it does not dilly dally or feel like it is moving slowly at all. Instead, this movie feels like it flies by, even though it is only 8 minutes shorter, and makes you cry out in agony at the cliffhanger of an ending. I am already willing to dish out money for my ticket to the last movie in the trilogy.
Character Development: 4.5 out of 5
Again, this movie takes the information from Tolkiens works, and expands upon them in brilliant ways. Everyone from Thranduil to Bard to The Master of Laketown all get a well needed look into their backstory and origins. As we quest eastwards across Middle-earth, we learn more and more about the dwarves we are following. In fact, the only dwarf out of the Travelling Company I wouldn't have a fit about dying is Bifur, who does not have even a single line.
Bard goes from a character randomly inserted into the plot into a character with some serious depth. In fact, the entirety of Laketown becomes alive with the expert writing of Jackson's team. I could go on and on, but I have 2 more categories to cover.
Special Effects: 5 out of 5
|Smaug, in all his glory|
Besides Smaug, the rest of the effects in this movie are just spectacular. The costumes have always been something Peter Jackson has been spot on about! bringing the characters of Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and Men to life. Not to mention, the sets are absoloutely gorgeous from beginning to end, especially the scenes with the elves and the "Barrels Out of Bond" sequence.
All in all, Jackson has delivered once again, bringing the world of Middle-earth jaw-droppingly to the cinema once again.
Acting: 4 out of 5
For a catagory I gave a 4 out of 5, the best acting in this movie is the stuff we don't see, but hear. Benedict Cumberbatch's voicing of Smaug steals every scene he is in, with one of the most memorable voices I have ever heard. The conversations between Bilbo and the dragon are without a doubt the best in the movie, which brings me to my next point.
Martin Freeman once again delivers with his performance of the small hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. My only complaint here is the lack of screen time that he receives. Everyone in this movie acted well, with no badly done scenes coming to mind. As always, Ian McKellen gives us a flawless Gandalf, with many other actors doing amazingly.
Final Score: 91.5 out of 100
Should You Go See It? Yes, though knowledge/a watch of the previous film is required.