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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


19, Santos

Date Posted: 2014-01-03
Tolkien Fan Level: 3
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

It took me a long time to write this review, mainly because I didn’t know exactly how to approach it. I myself find reviews dissatisfying, therefore I read all of them. I have read every Hobbit 2 review I could lay my eyes upon. Seriously. And yet it took me three weeks to write my own. Firstly because I didn’t know what I had thought about the film. I had to see the film a couple more times to make my mind about that.

Often reviewers don’t review the material, that is absurd, but it happens all the time. Often they tell you what the movie is about, they say what’s wrong and sometimes point out what’s been made right. I imagine that, if you’re reading this review to begin with, you’ve seen the film at least once. And if you haven’t, go to the nearest cinema right now. On my review, I decided to compare book to film and point out what could’ve been left out, even though it looks great.

You see, on The Hobbit, I’m a book firster.

Like all of Peter Jackson’s movies, this one is amazing. On film terms, everything is right. The photography, the acting, the special effects, the beginning and, oh my, the end. Mikael Persbrandt, one of the first new faces, gives a right to the point portrayal of Beorn, where he’s brave, courageous, and yet loving and caring. It’s too bad his only human-form scene is so quick, it’s almost like it’s not there at all.

Following all the hunt Azog had made during An Unexpected Journey, now the main antagonist of the Company is Bolg, Azog’s son. Lawrence Makoare’s portrayal of the orc is controversial. First because Bolg had a completely different design on the first Hobbit, and second because he’s all CGI and motion capture now. Which could be either terrific or terrible. It turns out to be both. If you watch the film on HFR 3D, you’ll find that Bolg looks fake, it looks like more care could’ve been put into him. On the other hand, if you can’t stand 3D, you’ll find Bolg as real as any other character.

The Mirkwood forest sequence has everything to be expanded, as it is also too short. And, differently from the book, where it is so dark they almost cannot see anything, this forest is dimly lit. The danger here does not lie in the darkness, but on the sickness of this place. The Company goes through hallucinogic scenes only to arrive in a huge nest of spiders. This scene is as faithful as could be to keep the pacing of the film. It’s also here that Bilbo starts to feel the treachery of the Ring.

Another controversial character, this one much, much more, is Tauriel, the elven warrior. What’s wrong with her? She’s not in the book. Many fans had problems with her without seeing the film, but when they saw it, some couldn’t help loving her. Evangeline Lilly is perfect for the character Peter Jackson has created, and her platonic romance with Kili is essencial for Legolas’ development. I’ve read so much stuff about Tauriel, and most of them struck me the most. A fan reviewer claimed that all of her scenes could’ve been easily cut out, that the story does not need her at all. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Lee Pace is amazing as Thranduil. He seems to have found a middle ground between Elrond and the mad Galadriel, and that is Thranduil. I’ve heard some criticism about the melting face scene, and I hope that is better explained in There and Back Again.

Another great performance of an expanded character is from Luke Evans’ Bard. He’s got much more reason here to protect Lake-town, he’s lost his wife already and wants to protect not only his people, but also his children. We’ll hopefully see much more of him on the next Hobbit.

This time, Peter Jackson decided to listen to critical opinion regarding his directorial approaches. On AUJ, most critics opinionated that the film was slow. They take too long to get out of the Shire, and when they do, they stop once again. The Desolation of Smaug is, overall, a much more better paced film. Jackson fixed this by adding more action sequences in moments where, originally, were slow. Such in the Barrels Out of Bond sequence.

It’s just complicated. It’s all about the hunt. Orcs-hunting-dwarves-running-away-from-elves-hunting-dwarves. Complicated, isn’t it? Another moment that could turn out wrong, but they managed to get some of it right. Only some of it, because I consider Legolas riding the barrels on top of the dwarves’ heads ridiculous. That’s the only part I couldn’t manage. A simple scene where the dwarves are supposed to run away swiftly inside barrels is turned into a carnival of all sorts.

Smaug the Magnificent, the Greatest of the Calamities, the tales and songs fall utterly short of his enormity, indeed. He’s enormous. He’s quite an accomplishment for Weta Digital. I have only one complain, the decision to make him a two-legged instead of four-legged made him look clumsy sometimes, something he shouldn’t be.

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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