Movie Review: The Desolation Of Smaug

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.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Desolation Of Smaug

  1. Chris

    I haven’t see the movie yet, but it sounds like Peter Jackson actually depicted elves as Tolkien truly intended them: mysterious and unhelpful.

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  2. Jaime

    Considering I haven’t actually read the Hobbit in 30 yrs, I would condense the movie down to only that which is actually in the book and then see what the running time is cut down to. Betcha it is less than 4 hours.

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  3. Jaime

    Well I finally got around to seeing the Desolation of Shmauuuuggg. I find that Going in with low expectations, helps the movie going experience. The good news is that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The visuals are stunning. My God is New Zealand a beautiful country. The CGI was top notch and though the film is way tooooooo loooonnnnggggg, I found myself entertained overall. If you don’t overthink it.

    Of course, It is my self imposed job to overthink it, (spoilers follow)………

    My God this film sucks.
    Why is Legolas in this film and why is he such an Asshole?
    Did we really need a made up Elf girl /dwarf love triangle???
    Orc’s obviously take their Archery lessons, from the same crew that teaches Bad guys (and stormtroopers) how to shoot machine guns and not hit ANYTHING!!!
    So Smaug sleeps under the mountain for 150 years and keeps the place nice and tidy and in one afternoon, totally fucks the place up!!! You’d think it would have already been fucked up in the original battle since it was full of dwarves at the time.
    Other than Thorin can anyone name any of the other dwarves?? (Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy…) or actually even care about them?

    I think leaving the film at a climax is a mistake, the built up momentum will be broken when we get to part 3 next year.

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