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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME

Robnic Karnaran

19, Erie
United States

Date Posted: 2013-12-24
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

'The Desolation of Smaug' is an excellent part two of 'The Hobbit!' The movie proved to be more true to the book than many are making it out to be.

When analyzing the scenes in the movie with Gandalf and Radagast at Dol Guldur, with Azog and Bolg at Beorn's house and at Dol Guldur, with Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel in Mirkwood and in Laketown, and scenes with Bard, many people are complaining that the characters or scenes are not in the book. This true - partially.

"The Hobbit" eludes to Gandalf going on a separate task while the dwarves head through Mirkwood. There are also references in the Silmarillion and in the Lord of the Rings indexes that mention Gandalf, Dol Guldur, and the Necromancer/Sauron, all fitting the timeline of Gandalf's departure in The Hobbit. So, in fact, these scenes are accurate partially to "The Hobbit," but are mainly derived from other Tolkien books - so true Tolkien fans would/should not criticize the movie for including them.

There is also mention of Azog, the White Orc/The Defiler in The Hobbit, and he and Bolg are also mentioned in other literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien. Once again, true Tolkien fans would/should not criticize the movie for including these scenes.

The scenes with Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel and Bard are a different story, but when analyzed and considered, the criticisms they are receiving are not justified either.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote "The Hobbit" from Bilbo's perspective - that is, "The Hobbit" is supposed to be the first section of Bilbo's 'Red Book,' 'There and Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday.' This means that everything included in "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien is only what Bilbo himself experienced or was made aware of at some point.

With that aspect of "The Hobbit" in mind, the scenes with Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel and Bard are not wrong or deviating from the story - they are simply characters and events that Bilbo was not aware of, and hence did not record in "The Hobbit" aka 'There and Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday.'

In the movie, the only major deviation from the book that cannot be explained by other works of Tolkien or by Bilbo's lack of awareness is the extended time Smaug spends in Erebor. Not only does Bilbo have direct interaction with Smaug, but the dwarves enter Erebor before Smaug leaves, and there is an action packed sequence in which the dwarves try to escape, then try to kill Smaug.

Though this extension is not in the book, it is not necessarily a negative addition/deviation. Peter Jackson's Smaug is a masterpiece, and the extra time in Erebor with the dwarves gives him more screen time. If the scenes with Smaug played out in the movie as they do in the book, Smaug would enter and exit the movie far too quickly. The creative license Jackson took with the added scenes opened the door to Smaug's character development.

Ultimately, 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is an outstanding second film in 'The Hobbit' trilogy. If you are a fan of "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, and of his other literary works, this movie is sure to thrill!

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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