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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


Date Posted: 2014-01-14
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? No

I learned about Middle Earth through Peter Jackson's adaption of LoTR. It was those films that made me read the books, then all of Tolkien's other works. I went into the theatre with high hopes. I had on the whole enjoyed An Unexpected Journey, despite the resurrection of Azog, the scene inside the goblin caves, and a few other nit-picky details.

The Desolation of Smaug was nothing like the first movie. For that matter, it was nothing like the book. Beorn looked more like the bear from Brave than a king. Beorn the Human looked nothing like a noble king, and more like a werewolf that could be killed by a silver bullet.

The elves of Mirkwood were off, somehow. Legolas' character in particular felt stunted, as if he didn't belong there. Tauriel I was prepared to accept. I had every intention of liking, if not loving, her. She would not be canon, but neither was the death of Haldir at Helm's Deep. I thought maybe she would help the movie along.

She didn't. If not for the ridiculous love triangle between Legolas and Kili, I would be far more accepting. If not for the fact that it took Lord Elrond three days to heal Frodo, but only took her three minutes, I would also be more accepting. It bothers me that Peter Jackson added a female that was supposed to be strong, only to have her fall in love with the first prisoner she met, as it were.

Bard... oh my. He was a disappointment. I thought at first Will Turner had wandered into Middle Earth by mistake. Bard, instead of being Captain of the Archers was Smuggler in Chief.

Smaug was wrong. The whole sequence with Smaug was wrong. If ever there was a ridiculous deux es machina it was that sequence. There is no way on Earth (Middle or otherwise) that that would happen. Smaug felt weak and unoriginal. He looked... little. He, the Chiefest and Greatest Calamity of the Third Age, couldn't capture a few measly dwarves.

Gandalf (Ian Holm) and Radagast (Sylvester Mccoy) went to Angbad to oust the Witch King, or something. That was one of the more confusing parts of the film, mainly because the Istari were forbidden from matching their power against Sauron's, and that is exactly what Gandalf did.

The book was better than the film. I can think of many books better than this film. I will see an Unexpected Journey, but only because I no longer know the story. This is not Tolkien's world. It is Peter Jackson's, with a few familiar characters.

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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