The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Film #2)
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, J.R.R Tolkien (based on his book)
Run time: 161 mins
Release Date: 13 December 2013
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; As my friend described it, was visually stunning, with a high frame rate, like watching and I quote her saying "Planet Earth, but with Wizards". This is no surprise as New Zealand is a beautiful place, one I very much wish to visit one day, a place that's beauty is showcased by the art of these films.
Here's the thing, I'll start with that I loved the most about this film.  The revelation of the necromancer as Sauron and the way that the burning shadow became 'The Eye' well played Peter Jackson, very well played. The tie in to Gimli and Legolas? I think the entire theatre burst out laughing at Legolas' reaction to the picture of 'wee lad Gimli', which for me begged the question where was Aragorn?! Come on people we needed a Viggo fix, the man was 87 years old he could have been in it he would have been like 27 and sure Viggo's aged but a little hair dye and some beard could have pulled it off not like Orlando is 23 anymore.

I do accept the fact that he was however, unnecessary and probably should have come to light in the first film in Rivendell since he was raised there so the moment has long passed for that hope. Martin Freeman's evolution of Bilbo was brilliant, the innocence lost as the attraction to the Precious grows and its hold on him begins to turn him a little darker each time.

The spiders, oh the spiders. Well, I'll start this off by saying that I am probably one of the worst arachnophobics around these parts. This is a girl who had a hyperventilating attack when there was a spider on the basement stairs and clawed her best friends arm off while sobbing in The Return of the King during the whole Shelob part. That being said the spiders in this film scared me, and I looked away for much of this scene but once I could hear what they were saying I was suddenly not afraid of them anymore.... Fear of the unknown perhaps? I wont psychoanalyze myself but that's the truth. Then suddenly when Bilbo took the ring off again they were suddenly terrifying and I'm sorry, but was that a giant white crab at the end? Seriously what was that? I don't even understand I just know Bilbo went full raged psychopath on it's ass.

In enters the greatest that is Legolas. Being the shameless fangirl that I am, I'm not that hard to please when it comes to the world of middle earth, give me a few shots of Legolas being a badass and I probably could sit happy for years to come, however looking at the film objectively here's my breakdown.

The film was good, in my opinion, it was nowhere near as good as the first installment which was a little disappointing since I felt like in the Lord of the Ring trilogy the films and stories just got better as they went on, we got to know the characters more and were included in their humor. The only character we seemed to see into the life of or any development at all was Kili as he spoke of home and his promises his dreams SPOILER ALERT seriously Peter you're just going to make us all fall in love with this beautiful, adorable, sweet and idealistic Dwarf just to watch him die? Who are you, George R.R Martin?

Thorin seemed to have backtracked, he went from being a complete jerk in the first film and just at the end you get a glimpse of redemption from him as he finally accepts Bilbo and then there is zero redemption in this film at all, if anything he becomes increasingly less likable as the film continues as his nephews Fili and Kili become more likable as they band together despite the quest, again stop it.

O Smaug, the stupendous - Bilbo. Benedict Cumberbatch you brilliant fiend you. He might not be an actual Dragon but my god did his voice, his portrayal strike fear and ominous feeling into my heart. He was just born to play bad what can I say. There were a few moments of logical inconsistency; for example if he had been using his sense of smell to find them in the beginning, why was it he could freely walk over them and not notice they were down there simply because they were not moving? Also the distraction attempt at the several different groups of hobbits running in different directions to distract him. That seemed like a weak attempt at giving them a chance to escape when we all know that real dragons would have burned all their asses in seconds. Cause you know, I'm obviously an expert on the acts of real dragons.

Over all the film felt like a place holder, the things that happened in the movie were there, they happened but were they necessary? Probably not all of it. The ending was not the best cliffhanger either since you pretty much know where Smaug is headed looking all fabulous coated in gold.

For those who complained about the length I was waiting for it to continue I barely noticed the length I thought the attack would at least have started before they dropped off to be continued.

The acting was fantastic, visual stunning the dialogue and plot progression was a little lacking.

It was enough to have me looking forward to the next film but not the wow I had been hoping for.

Favorite Quotes:

Legolas: Who is this? Your brother?
Gloin: That is my wife!
Legolas: And who is this horrid creature? A goblin mutant?
Gloin: That is my wee lad, Gimli!

Kili: Aren't you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.
Tauriel: Or nothing.

Thorin Oakenshield: Fili, don't be a fool. You belong with the Company.
Fili: I belong with my brother!

Recommendation: A Must see for all middle earth fans, and a thoroughly enjoyable film.