The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Unless something bizarre happens, this will be the last movie of the year. Fitting, since a year and change ago, the Hobbit was my last film of 20121

Unfortunately, The Desolation of Smaug doesn’t even reach the bar An Unexpected Journey set a year before. The latter2 at least had a lot going for it. A return to the spectacular world that Tolkein imagined and Peter Jackson brought to life. A new story, promising the zany hijinks of The Hobbit with just a bit of flavor foreshadowing The Lord of the Rings thrown in for good measure.

Unfortunately, that’s where the The Desolation of Smaug falls flat. Actually, the same as last year, the movie posters reveal the weak point. Last year, it was the entirely replaceable dwarves. This year we have Gandalf taking center stage, with a trio of elves, Thorin, Bilbo, and Bard the Bowman. But wait, you might say, Legolas? He’s in The Hobbit? And is that Evangeline Lilly? Is she lost?

That’s pretty much exactly what you get for taking a 300 page children’s book and trying to turn it into an epic three four three3 part film–even more than the three 600 page nice thick novels we’ve already seen. You have to add things, just to make the movie feel whole. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work. The movie feels thin for a good part of it’s not insubstantial length, and by then end you’re just left wanting more. Well, you’re in luck…

Ah, who am I kidding. I’ll go see the next two too. Likely the week of their release even. Heck. It’s the Hobbit.

Wait, what was that? I forgot the eponymous Smaug? No, that part was actually pretty awesome. It took far too long to get there, but I really loved Benedict Cumberbatch voice. The fight scenes were a little much4 and for such an ancient foo, he was surprisingly gullible. Hubris, I guess? So it goes.

Overall, not as good as the first. Not even as good as many of the films out this year. Still, enjoyable enough for what’s in theaters.

Ranked: 2013 Movie Reviews

  1. Pacific Rim
  2. Frozen
  3. Iron Man 3
  4. The Croods
  5. Gravity
  6. Thor: The Dark World
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness
  8. Monsters University
  9. Elysium
  10. Ender's Game
  11. Man of Steel
  12. Django Unchained
  13. World War Z
  14. Despicable Me 2
  15. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  16. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  17. Parental Guidance
  18. Oblivion
  19. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  20. Beautiful Creatures
  21. R.I.P.D.
  22. Jurassic Park (3D!)
  23. The Wolverine
  24. Oz the Great and Powerful
  25. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  26. Jack the Giant Slayer
  27. Warm Bodies
  28. Don Jon
  29. Turbo
  30. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  31. Pain & Gain

  1. At least in theaters. [return]
  2. Former? That’s what I get for listing them out of order I guess [return]
  3. I give up… [return]
  4. Seriously? Molten gold against a dragon</em?! [return]
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