2 December 2013
Dir. Peter Jackson
Prod. Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
Genre: Epic Fantasy Adventure
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Christopher Lee, Sylvester McCoy, Manu Bennett, Barry Humphries, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbath, John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Peggy Nesbitt, Mary Nesbitt.
Desolation of Smaug. You just know that any movie title with the word ‘desolation’ in it isn’t going to end well. In this film we see that a year has passed since Bilbo left the Shire and I think it’s also fair to say that he’s enjoying the adcewnture much more than he did before. He and the dwarves are closer than even to reaching the Lonely Monutain, but it seems that the closer they get the moren dangerous things get.
Arriving at Beorn’s house, traveling through Mirkwood and ending up locked in King Thranduil’s dungeons, arriving in Laketown via fish barrels, and finally, a showdown with Smaug himself. This entirely film is chalked full of intense moments and amazing (and funny) action sequences.
I really enjoyed the Desolation of Smaug. A lot of people I spoke to said they didn’t enjoy it as much as the first or third one and honestly I wasn’t really surprised by that. Not because it isn’t as good, but because the first film in a trilogy you’re excited at the newness of the adventure and what might happen. Then in the third you have the epic final battle and “oh my goodness who will live and who will die?”. Most of the time in trilogies the second film pretty much just consists of getting from Point A to Point B.
It’s like driving to Disney World. The first hour is great cause “Holy crap you’re going to Disney World!” Then after that it’s just a constant stream of “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Then you get there and you’re all excited again cause DISNEY WORLD.
But yes, personally, I enjoyed the second film. I’ve seen the extended version of the film multiple times (if you haven’t, I highly recommend it as it contains a lot of scenes that were in the book). One of the cut scenes is a longer look at Beorn’s house, which is already awesome in itself because everything is so ginormous compared to the dwarves. But then in the uncut version we see the dwarves introducing themselves to Beorn and it is probably one of the funniest parts of the film.
I really loved the scene with the dwarves in Thranduil’s kingdom. From the first time I saw Lord of the Rings I loved the elves. How can you not? Thranduil is such a great character and he plays great opposite Thorin. Lee Pace does an amazing job with this character and it’s not an easy one to play. Playing an elf must be intimidating enough. You have to look regal and beautiful and perfect. Now play the King who is all of those things at the same time as being both caring and cold and so many other things all at once. Somehow Lee Pace managed this. We also get to see Legolas in his pre-Lord of the Rings years in this film which was amazing.
Before I go any further, I would just like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Lee Pace (March 25)!
Also in this scene we meet Tauriel (Lilly), a character not originally in the book. Peter Jackson brought this character into the films because there are no strong, lead females in the book and Jackson knew he couldn’t send a film to theatres in the 21st century like that. I have a love/hate relationship with this character.
On one hand, I love how badass she is. She’s strong and tough and rescues the dwarves on more than one occasion, easily proving herself though she really has nothing to prove. On the other hand I found it incredibly frustrating that they introduced this character and then gave her the plot line of a love triangle. It’s hard to hate even this though because she and Kili are so adorable (Confession: I ship Kiliel so much). But while I love their relationship and think they’re adorable, I feel it kind of lessened the character by giving her a love triangle when it really wasn’t necessary.
Laketown. What can I say about Laketown? This whole sequence was amazing. The set they built, the Laketown song (which you can hear in the video below), and the characters introduced here were great. The set was phenomenal, I can’t even imagine how long that took to build. The song was my favourite piece out of the whole movie, possibly the whole trilogy if you don’t include Billy Boyd’s song in Battle of the Five Armies. As for the characters, we finally meet Bard (Evans) and his three children (played by John Bell, Peggy Nesbitt, and Mary Nesbitt).
Finally, Smaug (Cumberbatch). I don’t know what I was expecting Smaug to be like when I first saw the film, but the animators definitely blew me away with their work. Smaug is huge and if I didn’t know any better I almost would have believed they had actually found a dragon to play opposite the actors. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the dragon and did a great job in his role. Thankfully he didn’t have to say the word ‘penguins’ in this film.
There’s so much more I could talk about, but it’s currently 12:30am (I was a little behind writing this one) and I don’t want to be here forever and I doubt any of you want to be here forever either! Or maybe you do, which is cool, I don’t mind. Maybe I’ll talk about my favourite parts of the whole trilogy in more detail one day after I review the third film, would anyone like that?
Well, until that day comes, I want to know what you think!
Did you enjoy Desolation of Smaug? What was your favourite part?