Date Posted: 2013-12-30
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? Imax 3D
Will view again in a different format? No
The film was enjoyable, but in summary I am quite dissapointed. Many are saying that it does not matter whether or not the film breaks away from the book and the extent of which it does, but i feel that it matters a big deal; small or subtle changes that are necessary for cinema purposes (such as the barrel scene where the lids are open rather than closed) are fine, but significant changes such as leaving some of the dwarves behind at erebor or a cringing love story between a dwarf and an elf is unwarranted.
I did not mind the inclusion of Tauriel, i though Evangeline Lilly's acting was very good and the character seems to be in spirit with Tolkien's legendarium, but the whole love story was riddiculous, far fetched and quite contrary to the Tolkien mythos. The final scene in which the dwarves attempt to defeat Smaug with melted gold was also quite silly; it seems to me that it was more of a time-filler than anything. Rather than explore other events in the book, in order to have the second film more action-packed they decided to do this, which i feel was completely unecessary. Thorin mustering up such courage to taunt Smaug is also far-fetched, since Smaug is absolutely terrifying, as he is presented in the book. To antagonise him is certain death, yet Thorin and company openly do so. It breaks the illusion of Smaug being the personification of terror, the epitomy of fear. I quite liked the way they made Beorn, but his time on screen was very short, thus dissapointing overall. I cannot see why, rather than trying to cram as much action in as possible, they couldn't of stuck to the book and had Gandalf introduce the dwarves to Beorn as he did in the book; it would've come across as amusing and a comedic breather before the sinister travel through Mirkwood begins. Mirkwood was as sinister and mysterious as i imagine when reading the books; the psychedelic and hallucinogenic effect it had on the company was very well presented. It moved too fast i think though, it would've been nice to see more on Mirkwood, such as Bombur falling into the river. I also quite liked the design of lake town and the development of Bard, seeing as he does not have such a pertinent role in the book (apart from defeating Smaug) or sufficient character development. As for Smaug, well, he was the highlight of the film, absolutely brilliant!
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