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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME

James Lewis

19, Philadelphia
United States

Date Posted: 2013-12-23
Tolkien Fan Level: 5
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? No

As my brother and I drove home from a viewing of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', we had mixed feelings. We both love The Lord of the Ring, and we both have read the books, especially 'The Hobbit' multiple times. We own the Atlas of Middle-earth and I have the map of Middle-earth in my dorm room. We are fans.

'Smaug' left us with a sour taste in our mouths. It wasn't the acting, which was wonderfully lead by Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Sir Ian McKellen. The music was superb, especially Laketown's theme, "Thrice Welcome". Visually, the spider scene, Gandalf vs. Sauron and Smaug stick out as amazing use of special effects.

Now, the bad. Visually, the golden statue melting, parts of the barrel scene and the Orcs seemed inadequate. Story-wise, my brother and I were very disappointed. Tolkien would be rolling in his grave. The story of The Hobbit is about a boy, Bilbo, going to war and coming home changed, like Tolkien in WWI. It is about brotherhood, friendship and the evils of greed. Some of these themes are preserved in the Hobbit Trilogy, others, such as Bilbo and the 13 dwarves' character development are put on the back burner. While the other dwarves are forgotten the 'sexy' dwarves like Fili, Kili, and Thorin are highlighted. Now, honestly, in The Hobbit, these were the characters with the most development too, but in 9 hours of movie, I would expect the other characters to be fleshed out. But, alas, that is not the case. It is replaced with a romance between Kili and a Elf named Tauriel. I do not disapproving of Liv Tyler as Tauriel, but her leaving the Wood Elf Kingdom and going to Laketown, was too much. She could have made an appearance at the Battle of Five Armies and be there for- *SPOILER*

-Kili and Fili's death.

The end of the movie's battle scene in the Lonely Mountain, was a mess. After a great scene between dragon and Hobbit, the dwarves come rushing in with a Scooby Doo level plan, that in the end, meant nothing. Overall, the whole film felt like an adequate action movie with some standout performances, but a terrible adaption of a beloved book.

The Worst
Bolg/ Azog- Wasn't Azog's role expanded to be Bolg's? Why did Jackson add Bolg back into the story, when Azog was obviously made to be an amalgamation of the two.

Tauriel and the healing of Kili. She's no Elrond, how could she heal of morgul wound, when Arwen could not do it herself?

The Nine. How/Why are the Nazgul in a tomb? They are undead. Also, the Witch-King escaped. It seems like Jackson ignored the Appendixes, even though he repeatably talked about them.

Beorn being shafted to a 3 minute cameo.

The battle in Lonely Mountain.

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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