Monday, December 16, 2013
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review
If you haven't read the Hobbit, I highly recommend you find some time to sit down and read it. Most of you, I feel, have read the Hobbit, so I don't need to dive into the story that much. With this second one, we pick up our story with right where we left off with Bilbo and the dwarves running away from the orcs. An Unexpected Journey, although it was a bit drawn out, seemed to follow the book pretty well. This one, however, took a ton of creative liberties. A lot of creative liberties I was fine with. The scenes were entertaining, even though they strayed quite a bit from the book. However, the more we got into the movie, the more I got the feeling that they were just throwing things in there to fill the movie. And that of course brings up the discussion of this three movie decision.
But let's get back to the movie, because I have more to say. There is one aspect that bothered me even more than all the unnecessary added plot and that is the CGI. Had the CGI been top-notch, I may have been able to forgive the plot follies. But my goodness it was so awful that it was embarrassing! Especially the orcs. Every time there was a scene with the orcs, despite how well written the scene may have been, I had a hard time enjoying the scene because of how the orcs looked. For a movie team that did something so legendary with The Lord of the Rings, it's almost mind-boggling that they could be so lazy and pathetic when it comes to doing the CGI in their movie.
A few more down points for this movie real quick. Did Legolas need to be in this movie? I mean, he did a good job, and was especially entertaining when he was cutting off orcs' heads, but I'm going to say no to that question. It was one of those things where they threw him into the movie as filler so they could justify three movies. And since Tolkien never wrote him into the book in the first place, the writing of his character seemed especially weak. Also there is Evangeline Lilly. I love her! She was so good in Lost! And I'm not complaining that they wrote her character in, but the way they wrote her character is what I have a problem with. In the movie there is a weird and awkward love triangle between her, Legolas, and a dwarf. Yes, you heard that right. And yes, it's as stupid as it sounds. Finally, I need to complain about the music in the movie. All four of the other movies I walked out loving the music! The Lord of the Rings soundtrack is easily one of my favorite music soundtracks ever. And the Misty Mountains song in An Unexpected Journey was also awesome! But this movie had no memorable music. The music wasn't bad, but it was just not memorable. And that's disappointing.
Anyways, I will wrap this up by mentioning that I originally gave An Unexpected Journey a 7 out of 10. After additional viewings, I would've regraded that and given it an 8.5 out of 10. Most people that I've been reading have claimed that Desolation of Smaug is an improvement over the first, but I am going to reverse course and give Desolation of Smaug a 7.5 out of 10. It's decent and entertaining, but overall not that great and a step down from the first. But alas, there is still hope that the finale next December ends up being the best of three, so we'll see what happens.