Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars
Bottom Line: You’ll go see it because it’s “The Hobbit”. And while you won’t necessarily regret it, you will still continue to curse Peter Jackson for taking a two to three hour book and stretching it into three ridiculousy long three hour movies.
“The Hobbit” is the price we are all paying for Peter Jackson’s hubris. Only he could take three monumental books and condense them into the all around enjoyable “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and then think it’s a great idea to take the most straight forward book J.R.R. Tolkien has ever written and expand it into three plodding movies. And yes, after the first two, I think I can safely say that the third will be plodding as well.
“The Desolation of Smaug” suffers from the same problems as “An Unexpected Journey” did. See dwarves run. See dwarves get captured. Save them, Bilbo, save them. See dwarves run. And that’s not so bad, really. The problem lies in how they get from predicament to predicament. The part where they are captured by the spiders is sufficiently creepy and well done. And that’s it. Nothing else is really at all entertaining. And not only is it not entertaining, it’s frustratingly ridiculous. I challenge anyone to not roll their eyes less than one hundred times at the great barrel escape. It is just a bunch of crap thrown in to pad time in an already too long movie. Though, I will admit the camera work is pretty darn awesome in it.
And then there’s Legolas. We can ignore the fact that Legolas doesn’t appear in the original book. That’s fine. Creative license and all that. But he is so freaking useless in this book. The biggest crime, though, is not only is he useless, he’s freaking annoying. His sole purpose is to look pretty and engage in stupidly planned and, at times, horribly choreographed battle scenes. It was easy to tell which scenes were CGI and which were live by how well done they were. Hint: the clunky ones are live. I was actively wishing for Legolas’ death throughout.
Contained within this three hours of claptrap is a decent movie. It just gets smothered by Peter Jackson’s need to make nothing but three hour movies. I will just have to slough through one more of these movies and then the suffering will be over. It is funny that I was so excited to see all of the bonus material from the three “Lord of the Rings” movies, but I will be looking forward to the non-Director’s Cut of “The Hobbit” where a fan shrinks this abomination of a trilogy back down to the three or four hours that it should be.