Finally caught “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in the theatre, and let me say that it is every bit as good if not better than the first intallment. I still think it could have been done in two films instead of three, but that still does not take away the fact that I have been once again entertained by a well crafted film. Peter Jackson once again fills the screen with as much amazing scenery as he can while telling the familiar tale of J.R.R. Tolien’s “The Hobbit” while at the same time throwing in a few of his own embellishments that only enhance the story. There will always be the purists out there who don’t like the way the story was done, but then again that will be the case with any movie adapted from a book or tv show. The whole look of the movie shows it to be a labor of love by both the cast and crew.
The movie starts off with a little flashback just before getting right into some orcs chasing dwarves action. While continuing on their quest, as well as running from the orcs, we find Bilbo Baggins and the company of dwarves going from one predicament to the next. We also see Bilbo going through some changes on this journey. Martin Freeman shows us that Bilbo is not just any ordinary hobbit, he is Bilbo f*****g Baggins and even seems to be earning a bit more respect from the dwarves.
Of course we cannot neglect to mention the other star of the movie, Smaug! This dragon is definitely every bit as fearsome as one would expect. Masterfully brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch who did the voice AND motion capture. All that slithering around and booming voice, that is all him, pure Cumberbatch! He wasn’t just in some sound booth for a few hours, he was literally slinking across a floor on his belly and forearms covered in mo-cap dots. I’ve seen the behind the scenes stuff and I swear all that hard work he put into the character really paid off big time! The only tweaking they did to his voice to create Smaug was just turning the volume up. Not only did he do voice and mo-cap for Smaug, he also did the same in the role of The Necromancer. For the Necromancer, he even did the black speech in reverse to make it sound more demonic. That must have been hard on the man’s throat. I hope he rested up a bit before returning to the “Sherlock” set. I love dragons, and this dragon did not disappoint me one bit 🙂
Not too much Gandalf, but then again I don’t think he was in the book for too long either. This being a middle installment, it is best to see the first movie. Also be aware that the ending will lead into the next movie, meaning the end is not wrapped up in a neat little package. Don’t expect the story to go exactly by the book, no movie does that. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Can’t wait for the final part.
I give it an 8 out of 10. Can feel rushed at times but overall a good film.