… That said the movie is not bad. But I’m going to distract you with pretty faces, just like the movie tries to keep you away from its weaknesses by showing you pretty people every two minutes or so.
All the people who know me had the occasion to hear me rant about the first installment of The Hobbit. Before the movie came out, I was already very skeptic to hear that there would be a trilogy based on a book that is maybe as long as half of the first volume of The Lord Of The Rings. Three movies for this and three movies for Lord Of The Rings, who was a much bigger, much more complex story, didn’t seem fair to me. I was afraid that despite Peter Jackson’s desire of including other elements from the Tolkien universe, the movie would be jarring and boring. And as far as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey goes, I was right. I checked the time on my phone several times during the movie. It had serious pacing issues and most of the elements exterior to the Hobbit story felt really forced and show-offy. Plus, this first movie was only about the beginning of the journey. The plot in that first movie was really thin and considering it was just the very first part, it was really, really boring. Also, the eagles didn’t help me take this movie seriously.
So when I walked into the theatre for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, I was kind of expecting it to suck. Well, it didn’t… for the most part.
In this movie, maybe because it is not only about getting from point A to point B, the story feels stronger. It has interesting subplots but, more than that, the pacing issues have been mostly solved. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug lines up action scene after action scene, each one of them more fun than the other. And that is mostly what I missed in the first movie: the fun. I don’t remember much of the book to be honest, but it was certainly more fun and light than The Lord Of The Rings.
What about the drama parts, then? They’re good, again for the most part. To be honest, the scenes when Gandalf is on its own to discover who is the terrible enemy they will have to face get old quite fast, mostly because it’s not much of a mystery. As we know very well that it is Sauron, those scenes feel more like « wink wink nudge nudge » moments that were already boring in the first movie. Not everybody can pull off the wink wink nudge nudge. And when I say not everybody, I mean only Doctor Who can really pull it off. Also, is it me or does Gandalf’s discovery kind of ruin the continuity with The Lord Of The Rings? Because in Fellowship, he leaves Frodo to discover who is the enemy they’re facing (it takes him a few weeks/months in the movie, but nine years in the book).
Anyway. Globally, I thought The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, was good. I liked the characters (although I am getting tired of Thorin Oakenshield and the movie also suffers from a lack of focus on its own protagonist), and my favourite scenes are the scenes with Smaug, because the interactions between him and Bilbo are just gold. My main problems, beside what I already talked about, are with the very beginning and the very end of the movie.
The very first scene with Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf meeting in the inn was completely pointless and expositional. Without it, the story wouldn’t have suffered and I am also of those people who think audiences do not need everything spelled out for them. This scene was so forced that it could have made me hate the movie.
Then, we have the cliffhanger. Yes, it is cool to end on Smaugerbatch saying he is death and fire. But cliffhangers like that haven’t worked for me since the early 2000s. It seriously made me rolled my eyes: it left everything unfinished and unsatisfying. I would expect this kind of abrupt fade to black before a commercial, not at the end of a movie. Also, what the hell was that stupid pop song for the end credits? The dwarves sang way too damn much in the first movie, but I would have preferred that to this auto-tuned piece of shit.
Hum. Sorry, I tend to get really mad at overly auto-tuned pop songs these days. Also, don’t you just want these two to make out on the spot?
In the end, I still really liked The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug. I just wished that Peter Jackson let it be its own thing instead of trying to make it another Lord Of The Rings. The movie works way better when it can be what it is: a fun little adventure. The Lord Of The Rings was heavy enough on its own. The Hobbit really does not need that.
P.S.: TaurielxKili, anyone? Their babies would be tiny and weird and I like the idea of that.