Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Finally saw the new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. Yes, I took my time. The weather and the holidays kind of got in the way. Overall I was pleased with it. I don't want to hear any bitching about there being no point in stretching the Hobbit into three movies. I'd be content if they made a damn TV series out of it. I love fantasy and especially enjoy seeing it in movie theaters. 

That being said, the ending of this movie really pissed me off. If you've seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about. I'm not going to spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it, but prepare to be angry. I will say only that its ending feels less like The Two Towers -- with its sense of temporary finality while maintaining its place as the middle of a greater story. It just sort of ends, with a sense of foreboding as to what is coming next. There is little mystery in it...you know what's coming. You just have to wait to see it. Which was obnoxious.

I did enjoy the added action sequences. Particularly the famous barrel riding scene, which this movie incorporated into a three-way battle between orcs, dwarves, and wood elves. Could have used a little more Smaug, but just about any film I watch could use a little more Smaug. 

I've heard complaints that Smaug looked bad. Other than him only having two legs and using his wings as forelimbs, I thought he looked fantastic. There have also been some complaints of the addition of a female character, the elf warrior Tauriel. I realize she wasn't in the book, they just made her up to add another woman character to the story. But considering everything else they've added to make the movie more enjoyable to watch, the addition of a new female character seems rather tame. But if you're a total Tolkien purist, you're probably not going to enjoy the film that much because they take a LOT of liberties.  

All in all, I'm rabidly looking forward to the next one.