I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, the books and the movies alike, so when I read the Hobbit I wasn’t really sure how it fits into middle earth. Yeah, it had the same characters, the same geography but the tone and feel of it was totally different. Given, both of them are adventures and they both feature hobbits getting out of their comfort zone to carry THE ring of power, the Hobbit felt a little bit like a childrens’ book compared to the depth of content that LOTR had. But despite that, I was still excited for the movie because it was still being made by Peter Jackson (no offense to Guillermo del Toro fans – I do love Pan’s Labyrinth).
I know a lot of people were a little disappointed with the Hobbit because they felt it was a little too childish but in The Hobbit’s defense, the book is a little bit childish. It’s filled with child type adventures and quests so you can’t really blame the movie for that certain feel. And I know, it was also a bit dragging but let me tell you now, Peter Jackson redeems himself big time with The Desolation of Smaug.
The movie starts off where the first one left off, literally. So the eagles left them at the mountains (SPOILER!) and they are being chased by orcs. The dwarves still want to go claim their homeland – The Lonely Mountain – and kill the dragon. And that’s basically it without spoiling anything.
Directed and co-written by Peter Jackson based on The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (although I can say that Jackson completely took creative license in deviating from the book which I actually loved), the movie brings back Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the awesome wizard, Orlando Bloom as Legolas not in the book but makes a good side story Elf-knight and the rest of the dwarves all of whom I can’t remember except for Thorin played by Richard Armitage as the King under the mountain. The story also includes Benedict Cumberbatch as both the Necromancer (guess who this turns out to be) and Smaug the dragon, Evangeline Lilly as cool and hot She-Elf Tauriel and Luke Evans as Bard, the guy who looks like Legolas.
The plot is great as I mentioned earlier, it is a lot different from the book but some of the main things that happen in the book are still there. The pacing is well done because the buildup is so tense then it slows down for a little bit but brings it right back up again. I like the side stories with both Gandalf and Legolas and am really excited to know what happens to them. Also, the love story is a bit cute without taking anything away from the epic-ness of the film. One of the things that took me so well was the subtle touch of Bilbo getting attached to his precious and the feeling that someone (maybe Thorin) is unto him with his whole disappearing appearing out of nowhere bit. All in all, the plot of this movie sucks you in that by the end you want more of it.
The direction is in the real Lord of the Rings fashion, huge set pieces, the set designs were awesome, you really did feel that you were back in middle earth with these guys getting into the life of LOTR once again. But the one off thing about this movie is the CGI. The CGI in some of the scenes were so obvious that it takes you out of the film at times. The orcs looked CGI unlike in LOTR when you know these guys are guys in costume with a ton of prosthetics that looked convincingly real. But compared to all the action that this movie had, you kind of just forget what the orcs look like and focus on how bad ass the elves are killing them. But to redeem the fucked up CGI of the orcs, the dragon was epic. That dragon looked so real that I wanted to touch its skin to feel what dragon skin may feel like, it really looked awesome.
The acting is wow. With the cast that they had, the actors definitely delivered an awesome film. I mean, of course you expect Ian McKellen to be awesome and of course he is. He is taking down orcs and facing evil again and you know he can and will end up winning. Martin Freeman as Bilbo was also amazing, he really became Bilbo in this film. He had his courage and his ring and his loyalty to what he promised and he really kicked ass. Orlando Bloom also in this film was amazing. It felt kinda weird to think that this movie is 10 years older than Return of the King but it looked like Bloom did not age a day (maybe he does have the real ring of power?). His fight scenes were awesome, almost as good as his LOTR scenes. Richard Armitage as Thorin was also great, he captured the greedy and the heroic dwarf perfectly. You really want him to do the right thing but you know he’s got greedy dwarf blood inside of him. Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans were also great in their roles. It’s so hard to focus on how good they all were since there was a gazillion characters in the movie.
In the end obviously, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a MUST SEE NOW! It’s a great epic film, almost to the degree of epic-ness of the original LOTR trilogy. It has a great story, awesome acting and a fun-filled vibe with a lot of depth and action. I can’t stress enough that you should not miss this movie, heck, I’ll probably see it again this weekend.