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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME

Rafi Yahya

21, Hyderabad

Date Posted: 2013-12-22
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

Spoilers galore in my review, so beware the torrent, Barrel-riders!

Thou shalt not ask from me a debate on the book vs movie, so I present to thee a review honest and short solely about the movie.

Like many reviews, I shall break it down character and episode wise.

Bree: I was filled with Nostalgia throughout that sequence, O sweet Bree!

The Desolation of Smaug title: The Misty Mountains haven’t looked so misty before.

Beorn: I loved him so much that I have been imitating him every day. I feel sad that he was edited so much for the Theatrical cut. I want more Beorn. More! I can’t wait for Beorn 2.0 in TABA.

Mirkwood: Haunting, felt like a bad LSD trip, which is what made it perfect. I loved Bilbo's obsession with the ring. Again choppy editing though.

Thranduil: He, just like Thorin, delivers the utmost power performance. "I have seen dragon fire." sums it all up. He is the male version of Lady Galadriel. He oozes class in every scene.

Tauriel: I adored her performance. Esepecially her starlight talk! But I hated the Kili healing scene.

Barrel Scene: Bilbo's physical comedy is followed by an amazing Barrel Sequence with wonderfully choreographed action sequences and the hilarious Bombur scene!

Bard & LakeTown: I dream to be Bard and I want Esgaroth as my home. I especially loved the part where Bard recites the prophecy and the interaction between Bard and Thorin when Thorin says "You will have enough gold to rebuild Esgaroth 10 times over!" gave me chills. I loved the Master and Alfrid. I loved Sigrid, Tilda and Bain! Everything about the Lake Town sequences was perfect. It is a Dickensian desolate town but nothing I have seen on film is as beautiful as that. I love everything except for the Healing scene!

Gandalf & the Necromancer: What a battle. Majestic. You can't match that Harry Potter! Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

Smaug: Smaug is a psychopath! The sheer insanity and ego that overflows from his very existence is pure devilry yet makes you want to be magnanimous! He is unlike anything I’ve seen on film! He is King under the Mountain! He is Smaug! He is DEATH! Smaug is a clever psychopath!

And what I loved about the change is that in the book Thorin and Smaug are direct antagonists of each other. Their rivalry spans a century and a half! Yet they dont come face to face even once. Thorin does nothing against Smaug in the book.

What PJ did with the whole Smaug thing was brilliant! Smaug was shown as a wicked intelligent psychopath brimming with vanity and ego. And Thorin was shown as a battle hardened warrior with such anger in him. He goes face to face. They have a battle of otherworldly egos. Thats what’s brilliant! For Thorin to call Smaug a “witless Slug!” and for Smaug to taunt by saying “I am King under the Mountain!” sums it all up! This movie worked wonders for me just because it showed the rivalry between Smaug and Thorin so strongly! They are the yin and yang to their respective vanities and egos. Its perfect antagonistic chemistry.
The action sequence was justified. It would be very uncharacteristic for Thorin to flee from Smaug after hating him every day for a whole century. And also it would be very uncharacteristic of Thorin to give up on the fight and let Smaug wreak havoc in and around the desolated lands and he would be blamed for it all. Its obvious that there will be a massive clash. How would a really small sequence justify his wrath and enmity toward dwarves? It was properly done. The Smaug act was flawless in all manners. Encasing him in molten gold was genius albeit weak because hot molten gold won’t cool off that easily on a dragon with such body temperature.

I loved the end, Smaug flies toward Esgaroth and says "I am fire, I am....death!" and Bilbo says "What have we done?" And boom! The movie ends at an excellent cliffhanger!

What I loved the most about the movie: The 40 minute long cat and mouse between Smaug and the Company! And how the filmmakers made the whole Smaug thing how it should have been actually: Lengthy and thousand times epic! The face off between Thorin and Smaug is BRILLIANT. Just like how Thorin wept when he re-entered Erebor through the secret door. When Thorin faces Smaug and says on his face “You Slug!” wham dham! That was Smaugstastic!

What I disliked about the movie: The Athelas healing scene of Tauriel imitating Arwen. Nothing else.

Best line of the whole movie: The end, the cliffhanger, “What have we done?!” – Bilbo. Ate me up!

I have watched it 4 times, watching 5th and 6th times today and tomorrow!

The Ratings
The Other Ratings
Martin Freeman 's performance as Bilbo Baggins?
How would you rate Luke Evan's performance as Bard??
The Overall representation of The Dwarves ?
How would you rate Benedict Cumberbatch's' performance as Smaug?
Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf?
How would you rate Lee Pace's performance as Thranduil?
How would you rate Orlando Bloom's performance as Legolas?
How would you rate Evangeline Lilly's performance as Tauriel?
How would you rate Stephen Fry's performance as Master of Lake-Town?
Did you think Tauriel was a welcome addition to the film?
How would you rate Beorn?
How would you rate the scene with the Spiders?
How would you rate the imprisonment/escape sequence?
Did you like the Necromancer being discovered by Gandalf as Sauron?
Did the movie fairly portray the character arc of Thorrin?
How would you rate Lake-Town?
How would you rate the burglar interchange between Bilbo and Smaug?
How would you rate revisiting Bree?
How happy are you with the attempts to tie The Hobbit back to the Lord of the Rings?
Did you enjoy seeing Gandalf visit Gol Duldor and The Tombs?
Did you like the splitting of the company of Dwarves?
Did Smaug live up to your expectations?
How would you rate the ending of the movie; in regards to leading well into the next film, and serving as a good ending point.
Is DOS a better film than AUJ?
The overall pace of the film.

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