PUFF on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the grandeur tradition of its predecessors; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Big over the top landscapes, dwarf humor, sexy elves and the underdog/hero hobbit Bilbo Baggins are the focal points of this time period in Middle Earth.
I think the second movie of a trilogy may be the toughest to make purely because there is no real beginning or end, just the continuation from the prequel and conclusion from the sequel. The Desolation of Smaug did a wonderful job of progressing the story while leaving me wanting more. In comparison the first movie in this trilogy, An Unexpected Journey was painfully hard to watch from beginning to end simply because it was about two hours too long. I’d like to thank director Peter Jackson for cutting down on harmonizing dwarves and increasing the action in this film.
The Hobbit is one of the most famous fantasy novels of all time. Author J.R.R. Tolkien created another world filled with dragons, little people and heroes. I was skeptical about The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it certainly surpassed my expectations, so coming into The Hobbit trilogy, I knew Peter Jackson could pull off the transfer of classic literature onto the big screen.
I felt there were some unnecessary additions to the story including a lovers’ quarrel between an injured dwarf and an Elfish vixen. However an efficient amount of time was spent on it and the story moved on. Were the additions justified? No, but it wasn’t overdone, so it's easy to overlook.
All of the actors excel in their roles, and even though some of the characters are getting tired and have been in every single movie (Legolas, Gandalf), they continue to shine in this unstoppable franchise. What the second movie of this trilogy accomplishes is progressing the new characters and introducing a new batch of inner struggles for Bilbo, as he not only battles the elements but the darkening, unsettled feeling in the traveling group of elves.
The cinematography in the film is quite stunning and the visual effects received an Oscar nod. Bringing a dragon to life is no easy task, and the people at Weta Digital really pushed the envelope for what is possible in animation. The rustic, dreamy landscapes from the first Hobbit movie are very prevalent, with the visual effects highlight being the showdown between Bilbo and Smaug.
Thank god they decreased the amount of musical numbers from the first Hobbit film. The Desolation of Smaug moved much more quickly and stayed true to the storyline more than its predecessor. I would say a resounding PUFF on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Awesome new characters and amazing special effects far outweigh some of the over the top “awesomeness” of Legolas and the redundant humor from the dwarves. Looking forward to the final film from the trilogy.