Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Movie– The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Run Time – ~2h 40min


TL;DR– A not faithful, but good movie 85%


Basics–  It’s the sequel to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  This movie picks up where the other left off.  The heroes move through Mirkwood, are captured by elves, escape, journey through Laketown, and then encounter Smaug with a cliffhanger ending.  The move has some significant departure from the source material and adds quite a bit of connections to the Lord of the Rings.


Cinematography– This movie looks amazing.  I loved the look of almost everything.  Peter Jackson knows how to make a movie look amazing.  Smaug is beautiful and terrifying.  However, some of the special effects do look strange.  I don’t know what the heck happened to Legolas, but he looks like he fell down the uncanny valley a bit.  4.5/5


Acting– This is another top notch performance by the Hobbit crew.  What’s great is how every cast member gets some spotlight time.  Sure Gandalf gets more than the others, but in this version he is more about his behind the scenes work and connections to the Lord of the Rings stuff.  However, every character gets a chance to shine.  Heck even Bombur gets a chance to show how amazing he is when the group escapes Mirkwood along the river. 5/5


Story– The story here is a good one.  Peter Jackson and Tolkien tell an amazing, family friendly tale. 5/5


Tolkien Faithfulness– Here is where things fall apart.  The Hobbit by itself will not take you 9 hours to read.  Jackson has to pad lots of stuff into those 9 hours, and he also started to whole sale change things.  Lots of time is given to Gandalf so a stronger connection to the Lord of the Rings can be made.  However, the Hobbit never had that connection.  Laketown is a brimming riot with 99% undertones.  Beorn is crazy and doesn’t get his moment of deception.  Now there are new elves and orcs.  Lots are added, and while it feels Tolkien in tone, it’s not Tolkien at the same time.  This really upset my wife.  I enjoyed it, but know that this was not the story that Tolkien wrote.  The story is there, but if you are a purest then this is not the movie you wanted. 2.5/5


Summary-It’s not a bad movie.  I liked what I saw.  I loved the first one, but only liked this one.  I’m glad I saw it, but didn’t have the desire to see this again right away like I did the last one. 85%


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