Flash Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Some of the things home means to me are comfort, peacefulness, safety and refuge. This pertains to my present location. Home also has a special meaning when I think of the place where I grew up. There were neighbors who lived across, below and around the corner from our apartment. If I wanted to talk to my cousins who lived on the other side of the building all I had to do was open the bathroom window and call out their names. The other neighbors in the building were just like family to me. It meant nothing to go pick up something at the grocery store for a neighbor, especially since they would give me extra money to buy myself some candy. Years later when I found out our old apartment building was going from rentals to condominiums I was heartbroken. How could the apartment I was born in now be owned by someone? As long as it was a rental I could still imagine each person living there was only temporarily residing in my childhood apartment. Home can be a powerful connection which explains the motivation that drove the dwarves of Erebor to reclaim their land taken away by the greedy dragon Smaug. Led by Thorin, played by Richard Armitage (Captain America: The First Avenger, Robin Hood-TV), the dwarves were helped on their perilous journey by the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman (Love Actually, The World’s End) and Gandalf the Grey, played by Ian McKellen (X-Men franchise, Gods and Monsters). The landscape that director Peter Jackson (King Kong, The Lovely Bones) laid out in this fantasy film was exquisite. It looked as real and amazing as any of the incredible landscapes that would be considered a wonder of the world. The action was close to nonstop as possible to the point where I felt it was overkill. For me this was the movie’s downfall. There were so many action scenes that the story never developed fully. For the life of me I have no idea what was the reason for the secondary story line regarding the elf Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly (Real Steel, Afterwards); it came out of the blue and made no sense to me. Due to the excess of fight scenes in this adventure film, their repetitiveness only added to the times where I was getting bored. Clocking in at 2 hours and 41 minutes, this was a movie that felt longer because it did not have the magic that was present in the The Lord of the Rings franchise. To end on an up note I thought the dragon Smaug was a technical achievement. It was a shame the dwarves not only had to fight evil forces if they wanted to get back their homeland, they had to battle a bad script.

2 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 16, 2013, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Oh, I have to see it anyway. Who could resist?

  2. I will, of course, see this but the impression that I get of The Hobbit trilogy is that it seems to be for diehard Tolkien fans. Way too long and getting increasingly muddled.

  3. Peter Jackson, a once marvelous filmmaker, who totally sold out with this ginormous cash grab. Three 3-hour films, for a 270 page preamble to a beloved trilogy? Ridiculous, bloated and greedy. ML

  4. I was so disappointed from the Lord (I saw only one of them) because they skipped the best moments of the books, and I do not mean the fight scenes. I will wait for it when it comes out in DVD and I have 3 hours to waste…

  5. The Dancing Rider

    i’ve got to see it. I’m like a Trekkie with this (and the LOTR’s) franchise!

  6. in a moment i am sleepy, duration oh duration..

  7. Entertaining review there, I haven’t seen it yet but am not surprised by your opinion of the film – much as I expected. Going to give the cinema a miss but am looking forward to watching it from the comfort of my home πŸ™‚

    • The way the prices are going up I have to think for a moment if I want to see the film on a big screen or wait to watch it at home. Thanks for coming by to leave your comments.

  8. Thanks for this review. I’ll probably still see this one, but I certainly won’t run to the theater right away.

  9. I actually think this one is better than the 1st honestly… I don’t know about what’s in the book and I may not be able to grab the full sense of the storyline, but the action scenes are superb and as you say “almost non – stop” and that’s exactly what entertainment is to me =)

  10. I’ll still go see it, but I won’t be expecting too much! They should have just made one movie, not three.

  11. Much of the story line varied from the novel … however … I enjoyed the movie anyway. Call me a diehard!

    At places the movie dragged (perhaps due to the overwhelming number of fight scenes as you said) … but I loved it overall. Especially loved seeing Sylvester McCoy as Radagast, and Martin Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo. THE REAL STAR OF THE MOVIE, however, is Smaug. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed him wonderfully and the animation team created a masterpiece. It was worth wading through the movie’s shortcomings just to get to Smaug.

    No spoilers here … but … the audience was really, really ANNOYED with the abrupt ending. Interesting to hear a theater full of people gasp with exasperation! πŸ˜‰

    • I totally agree with you, Smaug was unbelievable to watch and I thought casting did a brilliant job by having Benedict. Lol, the same thing happened at my screening with people gasping. Get ready for the next installment for it will be cut in half to make 2 films. Thank you for coming by and leaving your comments; I enjoyed reading them.

  12. Exactly spot on review! Thank you and I am a follower! πŸ™‚

  13. Having read the book, I was disappointed that (probably for dollar-sign reasons) three movies were to be made of The Hobbit. After all, one movie for each of the three Lord of the Rings books did suffice. Imagine how long these will be when the director’s cuts are released. Have a wonderful day.

  14. Finally saw this movie, no, abomination. Peter Jackson ought to be roasted. Over dragonfire. Very slowly. For 161 minutes.

  15. The Dancing Rider

    Saw this last night. Again, added to my collection (stated at the risk of being raspberried given some of the comments above!). πŸ™‚

    I give it 3.2 stars, slightly more than the first in the Hobbit franchise. Again, of course I am an LOTR addict, so a sucker for anything related. While I do not remember the book clearly, I intuit that artistic license has been taken to supposedly make things more watchable or interesting. But, since I DON’T remember the book, it really didn’t offend me in terms of the liberties themselves. What was irritating was not being able to keep up with this huge action sequence in the mines….. overdone a bit, much like some of the action sequences in recent superhero movies.

    That said, yes, of course I will be awaiting the third movie. And I will add that to my collection as well. Even if only for the scenery, and a lead-up to LOTR.

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