161 Min | Adventure – Fantasy | December 2013
IMDB Rating: 8.2
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: As expected, the second instalment in The Hobbit series does not look upto notch. It almost feels like a rookie filmmaker was at the helm of this production, desperately attempting to emulate the magic of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series. Instead, it really is Jackson orchestrating this mess. He directed, produced and wrote this film, which is quite unsettling considering its inferiority when compared with his usual terrific work. The Desolation of Smaug is executed like a film from the Narnia series. Its narrative is uneven, a portion of its characters are superfluous and it fails in adsorbing the audience; interesting things happen that we should care about, but we don’t. That’s due to the first film’s weak introduction to the story and the characters, who, due to their awful development are impossible to relate too.
When Biblo finds himself in danger we should be riveted, held in suspense as he weaves his way out of the situation, rather than distanced and apathetic, which is ultimately how we feel. In my opinion, this apathy stems from the bad writing and equally dull portrayal of Biblo by Martin Freeman. Jackson tries to force unwanted characters in the face of the audience by putting these characters in scenes that he believes will elicit an emotional response from the audience (when you watch the film these scenes will be apparent). Even so, these scenes are so poorly constructed it is impossible to care. It feels so amateurish, as if Jackson has no control or passion for the story. It’s told in such a rushed way that it allows no time to show its heart. Afterwards when you recount the experience, you realise it was an empty film, only a child or the average brainless viewer could truly love it.
The Desolation of Smaug is almost lifted by a few brilliant sequences. Smaug himself proves to be the best aspect of the film. No matter how excellent, though, he is not great enough to rectify the remainder of the film. Unfortunately, that scene beneath the mountain is overshadowed by the other faults, including the careless pacing and fake looking, overly vibrant sets that look nothing like the Middle Earth that LOTR had made us accustomed to. For the average viewer, The Desolation of Smaug will be a fairly enjoyable film, albeit easily forgettable. For a film enthusiast, it will disappoint. Though, if you know anything about films, you probably should expect it to. That’s not to say it does have not some admirable moments. Jackson just should have done better, he has the talent, and this had so much potential. I’m not sure how he got it so wrong.
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