Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It is not often that I write reviews to movies, but it is something that I would like to start doing a little more of, if not just to share a little bit of myself that isn’t necessarily writing related. Although most of my movie reviews would be horror based as that is what I like watching.

However, to start things off I want to offer a quick review on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.


The other day, to celebrate my wife’s birthday we decided to head to the cinema and were once again forced to watch a movie with a silly pair of glasses on our heads. 3D is nice, but it would be good if a movie were made without it for once. That being said, the effects in this movie, I thought, were some of the best I have seen recently. But it could be just because we had really good seats in the theater and that the movie itself lends quite well to the technology.

The movie starts at a pace, being the second installment of a single tale there is no need for a drawn out introduction or even a protracted ending rounding things off. I am sure that is to come in the third movie.

The first thing I want to say is that at 3 hours, it is a long film, and it feels it too. I honestly think that they could have removed about 30 minutes footage from the film without affecting the story line.

That aside, the story is a good one, if you like adventure, then you have it by the bucket load, including barrel rides, giant spiders, orcs and more.

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There is even a return to the series – and I am as close to certain as I can be that he was not in the book – Legolas, everybody’s favorite elf!

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not to mention a very nice appearance of Evangeline Lilly, who in my opinion made a much better elf than Liv Tyler in the first three movies. I know I know, different character, different sort of role, but hey, it’s my review 🙂

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Fans of the cinematography in the previous films will be equally happy with this installment, and Peter Jackson once again treats us to some stunning New Zealand views and some (movie) locations that are just breathtaking in their design.

The complexity of the dwarf mountain and mines was mind-blowing and served well to highlight the epic nature of the story.

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There were also moments of comedy that had most of the audience laughing, even if it did remind me a little bit of Obelix (from Asterix fame). Personally I think the film could have been better without the near slapstick moments, although the bit with the fish did make me smirk.

In a movie where dwarfs are the main characters, it was easy to forget their pint-sized stature, even with Gandalf the (not yet) White,or Grey as he prefers in this movie. Yet, when they are in the land of men, the filmmakers did a great job of keeping them small without ruining it. There was one scene were Thorin climbed the steps during a speech he gave to end it by turning around and look Bard in the eye. It was a clever touch, and I assume purposefully done.

The movie is not perfect, but it is a damn good time, especially once we meet Smaug, a rather impressive beast that he is. The scenes with him once again showed not only the power of CGI but the impressive skills of Peter Jackson as a director, and immediately brought back the memories of the Lord of the Rings films.

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The film is darker than the first, and we see the emergence or if you will birth of Sauron, and I really did like what they did with the eye, the pupil and it’s birth in a battle with Gandalph. Ian Mckellen once again steals the show for me as the Wizard, in a role that he has made his own.

I am not sure I would sit through the movie again in the Cinema, while I could have done so happily for the Lord of the Rings, but I will certainly look for the BluRay once it is out and can see myself watching the movie several times.

The ending may cause some talking points, not in what happens, but rather the abrupt nature of it, but I thought it suited the film and came at a point that had the tension nicely built but not to the annoyance of the crowd when they see the credits rolling.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  1. I’m glad to read that you liked it. So far, my impression is it’s a love it or hate it film. Maybe PJ’s fandom is waning a bit…? However, I enjoy his movies. I can only hope he revisits his Dead Alive days and brings us something on the horror front soon!

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