Review – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I have been horrible at watching movies lately.  I have Netflix, but I’ve been on a kick of watching tv series (serieses?  What is the plural?  Is it like sheep or Lego?) and my movie watching has fallen by the wayside.  Then I got the notice from Redbox – free rental.  Well then, let’s take advantage of that!

So, yes, this review is a good six months after the premiere, but if you’re like me, a little behind, then you might find this useful, or at least interesting…I hope.

My sister suggested that I write reviews.  When I countered with, “but I’m so behind, and nothing would be relevant”, she replied that reviews don’t require a time frame.  She also reassured me that because I always had a clear understanding of what I liked or didn’t in something that others may be inclined to watch a film they hadn’t considered before, or not.  I don’t care for reviews that offer big vocabularies and technical terms to make the writer of the review proud of themselves.  I like honest reviews that tell me if I’m going to like the film.  My goal is to write a review as if I were talking to friends, which I am. :)  So here is my first go at a review…which I will now be sure to keep shorter since I rambled.

Also, I will need some sort of catchy title for my reviews, like, Geeky Girl Reviews “said film”, or Discrepant Writer Reviews…any thoughts?

I should first preface this review with the fact that I have not seen the first Hobbit in the series in its entirety.  I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, although, that is neither here nor there, but it is one of the reasons I was compelled to watch this series.  The other, Benedict Cumberbatch.  If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you are probably aware of the love my sister and I bear for this actor.  Looks aside, and yes, he is incredibly sexy (if you need proof, and are among one of the last people on Earth to hear about his work on Sherlock, it’s on Netflix, go watch it immediately, and all will be understood), he is an amazing actor with a voice so rich in timbre that it makes 99% of all women weak in the knees.  I’m not sure if that fact is true, but it sounds accurate. ;)

Hobbit:SmaugPosterLet’s try out one of the titles…Discrepant Writer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Quick overview: The dwarves are trying to reclaim their homeland currently occupied by the dragon, Smaug.

I read The Hobbit many years ago.  So many, in fact, that I couldn’t tell you that the movie I was watching was even remotely related to what I had read.  Nothing seemed familiar, except for Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and the ring.  The movie had the feel of the Lord of the Rings in design and scope, which was a welcome sight that they had not detoured from appearances (I’m looking at you George Lucas).

We are again transported to Middle Earth, and there are some familiar faces, even if some of them shouldn’t be there – Legolas, I didn’t realize how much I had missed you, until just now.  There are plenty of new, pretty faces – Evangeline Lilly as the elf, Tauriel, Lee Pace as the elf king and Legolas’ father, Thranduil, Richard Armitage as the dwarf king, Thorin Oakenshield, and Luke Evans as the human smuggler, Bard – the only ones whose character names you might be inclined to hear and remember.  The character of Bard reminded me quite a bit of Aragorn, the human with a noble lineage who is a “more than meets the eye” type.

Right off the bat, I was confused.  I had the volume up on my tv well beyond its normal range and I still could not hear what was going on around one of the initial scenes that takes place in Rivendell between Gandalf, Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond.  My mind wandered easily throughout the film, and I think this had to do with the pace (some scenes just lagged or were completely unnecessary), and maybe in part because I was not yet invested with these characters.  This may be because I hadn’t finished watching the first film.  Maybe.

Everywhere the dwarves go, they are captured and pulled along to stand before whoever is the ruler of that particular area, be it an orc, an elf, or a human.  They are considered vagabonds basically, even though one of them is a king by birthright and he is leading a small band of what is left of his people to their rightful home.  At times, I was a little annoyed at Thorin’s behavior, wanting him to be more than he seemed, and maybe he will in the final film.

Gandalf goes off on his own journey to find a wizard called the Necromancer, who everyone continues to comment on can not be a human because humans aren’t powerful enough to control the dead.  There’s a battle that occurs that left me confused, because orcs were present as well, and I didn’t know why any one was even in this particular place to begin with.  Maybe because my mind had wandered earlier.

Cut to, Smaug.  *Side note, I like dragons.  I hate that most of the time they’re referenced as evil, as in the game Skyrim.  You have to slaughter dragons by the dozen, with only two that are actually nice and helpful.  When Smaug speaks, it’s like hearing Darth Vader for the first time.  It’s wonderful and sends a thrill down your spine.  He has lovely dialogue, knows everything, and you kind of hope he wins.  At least I did.

When it cut to black, I laughed, because I knew that what I had heard would be the last line of dialogue and hence the end of the film.  And it was.

Overall, fun to watch if you’re already a fan of LOTR, but it’s a bit long and tedious, and you could probably skip to the end where Bilbo meets Smaug to understand the whole of the film thus far.  The book is not that long, only 365 pgs. vs LOTR at nearly 1200 pgs. which is why it’s understandable that there were three films for that series.  I don’t think The Hobbit requires the same approach.

3of5starsI’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.  It’s well done, but I wouldn’t take my time to watch it again, except maybe for Smaug, and a little more Legolas.  Well, that’s my take.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to share.

Have a great weekend everyone!

2 thoughts on “Review – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  1. Yes, I think he did write The Hobbit for his own children, so I know it wasn’t nearly as involved as LOTR. As you may have read in my answers to the Book Blogger Test, I have not read LOTR, and in this review I revealed I can’t even remember when I read The Hobbit, so as much as I appreciate the worlds and characters Tolkien created, because I do, I don’t know anything. :) I am however compelled to go back and finish the first film though, hoping for more insight and care for the characters. Thank you for your insight!

  2. Peter Jackson has also incorporated a lot of the LOTR backstory found in the Appendixes and other works by Tolkein into the Hobbit movies to make them a bit more relevant to the LOTR films and less childish (considering the Hobbit was written for kids – 5-9 year olds if I remember correctly). As a result, a lot of what happens in the films makes very little sense to anyone who hasn’t ventured beyond the surface of the LOTR world (which is understandable, the book itself is overwhelming enough!). For example, in the book Gandalf just disappears, whereas the movie has actually explored why he’s done this by drawing on Tolkein’s other works. This is the main problem I know a lot of people had with the film (who didn’t like it). The other is people who wanted the movie to strictly resemble the book, which was never going to happen. The dwarves do spend a lot of time getting captured in the book, but to then follow the ‘and Bilbo saves the day with no conflict’ plot would be death on screen! I personally love the two Hobbit movies because of the backstory they provide, but I am a massive Tolkien nerd, so that might explain it… :D

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