Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second in this incredibly long trilogy that takes place not too long after the first film, in which Bilbo Baggins and the company of Thorin Oakenshield continue their journey to the Lonely Mountain, where ancient treasures of the dwarves and Thorin’s birthright as a king reside. As you might imagine, this includes gorgeous scenery, lots of walking, and battles with orcs who continue to trail our band of adventurers in search of treasure, glory, and revenge. But how does it stand up?
Or float, as the case may be?
As with The Lord of the Rings triology and the previous Hobbit film, The Desolation
of Smaug looks amazing, with expansive shots of grassy plains, harrowing mountain
ranges, and just gorgeous environments in general. A lot of the shots in the film
tend to be somewhat disorienting, which coincidentally are seen most when there are
eerie or cursed areas under a dark influence. Perhaps the most impressive scene was
the barrel scene, where Bilbo and the dwarves are do improvised white-
The audio is grand and sweeping music with a touch of medieval and typical high fantasy tones that you’ve come to know and expect from Howard Shore. One notable track that stood out in my mind is, for whatever reason, the theme that plays when they reach this town located on a lake. It only played twice, but it sounded very much like a merchant town theme in an RPG, and I just liked it. In a strange way, I was more interested with what was on screen than the soundtrack, but it wasn’t forgettable; it was just there.
Like Stephen Colbert’s cameo in the same scene. No, really.
In conjunction with the main plot of Bilbo and the dwarves heading to the Lonely
Mountain, there is also the subplot of Gandalf looking into the forces of darkness
growing in Middle-
The acting is top notch, as to be expected with Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The World’s End) playing a more confident and trickier Bilbo, Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code) playing the wise and powerful Gandalf the Grey, Richard Armitage (Captain America: The First Avenger, Spooks) playing the proud and determined leader, Thorin Oakenshield, and even features the talents of Stephen Fry as well as Orlando Bloom, reprising his role of Legolas. The titular Smaug is voiced and motion captured by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and of all the characters this one is the most perplexing because with how much editing was done on the voice they could have gotten anyone they wanted to be the voice and motion capture person. Perhaps the smug sense of superiority and overwhelming confidence in ability is the reason why a man who plays Sherlock Holmes was chosen to be Smaug, and if that’s the case I like to imagine that Mr. Cumberbatch enjoyed it since he was able to really gloat before his Watson.
“Go on. Laugh at my motion capture. I dare you.”
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is long and engrossing. If you didn’t find the first
Hobbit movie enjoyable you’ll possibly enjoy this more action-
Atmosphere & Experience: 6
Director: Peter Jackson
Producer: Carolynne Cunningham
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date (U.S.): Dec 13, 2013
Release Date (U.K.): Dec 13, 2013
Release Date (JP): Feb 28, 2014
Share this page:
Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport Est. 2013. | Legal Notices