Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Recommended for: 13 and up
Rating: PG-13 (for violence and frightening images)
The hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, continue their journey to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Along the way, they encounter the skin-changer Beorn; giant Spiders of Mirkwood; Wood-elves led by Legolas, Tauriel and King Thranduil; and a mysterious Man named Bard, who smuggles them into Lake-town. Finally reaching the Lonely Mountain, they face their greatest danger - the Dragon Smaug.
I first saw this movie in the theater and enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the first part. After recently getting the movie on DVD we watched it again and even though there are many differences from the book I still liked it.
As far as I could tell the acting was good. Many of the special effects were well done, such as the dragon, but there were some parts where I could tell that it was animated and not the actor (mainly with Legolas). There are parts of the story where it is a little confusing, but mainly just when they are trying to tie it into The Lord of the Rings. Overall the storytelling was pretty good.
The settings were the same as in the book and since Tolkien liked world building, each place is unique. I loved the setting for Mirkwood and wish that they hadn't changed some of the parts from the book. Mirkwood is a dark forest with with dangerous creatures, it is also home to the wood-elves. After Mirkwood comes Laketown which is a poor town on a lake. In the movie Laketown is a dreary place that is always overcast. The last setting is Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), which is the Dwarves' old home that has been inhabited by a dragon. The halls in the mountain are huge and parts are filled with treasure. other parts are set up for mining in the Mountain.
The plot is the continuation of the journey to Erebor to take back the Dwarves' home from the dragon Smaug. The story can be confusing, mainly with understanding who different characters are, especially if you haven't read the book. The characters do explain things, but I think the book is better at explaining. The most confusing parts are the back story (not in the book of The Hobbit, but that Tolkien did write) that tries to tie The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings.
Characters Development: 5/5
There are so many characters that the movie only focuses on a few of them. It starts out focusing on Bilbo, but as soon as you meet the elves, the focus shifts to Tauriel and Legolas. Tauriel was not from any of the books, but she is still a likeable character. Legolas was not in The Hobbit (he probably hadn't been made up yet) but I am glad that they put him in, since he is the king's son. There are 13 dwarves, so the movie only focuses on a few of them. In The Desolation of Smaug the dwarf it mostly focuses on is Thorin's cousin Kili. Another character it focused on was Bard the Bowman. Bard ends up playing a major role in the story, but in the book he only gets about a paragraph, maybe a little more. I enjoyed that they gave him more of a character and that they let you get to know him.
There are many things that I wished they hadn't cut or changed from the book, but I still enjoy watching the movie. I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.