The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review

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After waiting a year for part two, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug has been released in cinemas all over the world. I was really excited about seeing this film as I am a fan of the book and a fan of the films The Lord Of The Rings.

First of I will say something negative about the film. I first read The Hobbit before The Lord Of The Rings films. The middle earth I visited in my head when I was a child. After watching Lord of The Rings it did not match my vision of middle earth but when reading the Lord Of The Rings books I could not help put picture the visuals I had seen from the film. The Hobbit film is Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the book and not mine. I’m not saying it is bad but it is just very different.

Many people are angry with the fact that there is so much extra content in the film. I understand why they have done this beyond the fact to make more money. The Hobbit is a children’s book and at points does not go into great detail. Turning that into an epic would be difficult. We need to have more characterization and we need more gaps to be filled in. As the story has been split into three films each film needs to have a three act structure in order to be coherent. That is why I feel there are sub-plots that are not in the book. They do work well for what they are.

The film has a faster pace and is more action based. There is still plenty of story but I am happy that the film contains many set pieces which are visually stunning for the audience. Jackson has said in interviews that these films could not have been twenty years ago because the technology to create brand new worlds did not exist or at least did not look real. The fight scenes and the scenes in Erebor with mountains of gold and Smaug  looks so amazing.

I really did not know what to expect when seeing the dragon but I liked everything about him. Smaug does look incredible. His look and his voice are brought to life through the voice and motion capture of Benedict Cumberbatch. I do think that Cumberbatch’s voice is so perfect. It is the right tone or evil and it really adds depth to the character. Benedict Cumberbatch also voices the necromancer. There is a variation in his voice but it is still clearly Cumberbatch doing both voices. However The necromancer speaks mainly in black speech and is more like sinister noises and chants rather than audible language. The Necromancer sub plot was really good even though it was brief but I think that we will get to see a lot more in There And Back Again in a years time. I think that The Necromancer fight will be the set piece of the third film even over the battle of the five armies.

The film does contain a few sub plots that do break up the main story. We see character development of Bard the Bowman who in the book is a very minor character. We have the sub plot of the necromancer and this film introduces a love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas and Kili. The film has had no female characters and introducing  a love plot into the film was something that would allow the introduction of a female character and allow the film to appeal to a wider female audience. However the love triangle is very brief and in a film of this length if people are only interested in a female character and her relationship with male characters I would suggest seeing a different film.

The main characters in the film get plenty of development. We see Bilbo becoming corrupted by the ring slightly even though he remains pure. Thorin becomes more weary and angry over reclaiming Erebor. I thought that his change would be too quick but the film laid it out perfectly and believe his suffering and anger. Gandalf has less screen time I felt however when him on screen you are focused on what he is doing. Gandalf is such an interesting character and he has so much presence. You cannot help but be interested in what he is doing. Every action no matter how small feels important.

Overall this film is a major improvement from the first one and its tone and themes are more like The Lord Of The Rings. I do think that this film is good in its own right and that people new to it would enjoy it. I would not recommend seeing this without seeing the first Hobbit film but I would suggest watching The Hobbit series before watching The Lord Of The Rings. I am annoyed now that we need to wait another year for the conclusion and I hope by that time the series has not been turned into four films.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

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