The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

thtdosIn the most simplistic terms, I can say that TDOS is better than An Unexpected Journey, though it still falls far short of the original Lord of the Rings series.

This time around, the dwarves are less comedic, the side trips are less annoyingly irrelevant, and the danger is far less overwhelming. Thankfully, there were only a handful of moments where I felt some character or other should probably have died, as opposed to the several times in AUJ that all the characters should have bitten the dust.

I liked the introduction of Tauriel as a sort-of romantic interest for Legolas. Given the way they both kick major orc ass, they seem to be a good fit. She also provides some leavening to counteract Legolas’s inherent distaste for all dwarves. And while her flirting with Kili is a strange addition to the story, it’s not unwelcome. I enjoyed their scenes together.

Another addition that seemed a little unnecessary was turning Lake Town (or whatever it’s called) into a police state which is swarming with spies and informers. Do we really have to make everything hard for Thorin and his company?

The confrontation between Bilbo and Smaug worked, I think. The effects on the dragon were exceptional (probably more so because I saw the film in High Frame Rate), and Cumberbatch’s performance (much like Freeman’s) was excellent.

All in all, an enjoyable film. I can only hope that There and Back Again represents a similar jump in quality, which will bring it almost to the level of the first trilogy.

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One thought on “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  1. Good review Russell. While it’s a bit better than the first, it’s not by that much. Maybe just by a hair or two.

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