Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Movie Review

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Evangeline Lilly, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Ken Stott, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Jed Brophy and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Directed by Peter Jackson.


Caught this at the discount theater.

This trilogy, even though it has the same budget and running time, feels like Lord of the Rings Lite. And it is. The Hobbit was a one-volume kids book, and now it's been blown up into an eight-hour three-movie event. And while the sets are as daunting, the battles as decapitating, and the special-effects as all-consuming, it's still just an excuse to hang out in Middle Earth for another round. Fine by me.

When we last left Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and twelve other dwarves we can't tell apart (I wish I'd reviewed this slideshow before going in) had flown on giant eagles to a safe spot away from the orc army but still a few days' journey away from the Lonely Mountain. The orc army catches up rather quickly, so they have to make haste and go through a haunted forest. Now Gandalf gets some news, so he says he has to leave them for a time, but he'll meet them at the Mountain.

Why the dwarves couldn't just stick with Gandalf? It apparently would take the same amount of time. No matter. They make their way through the wood and encounter giant spiders, and the adventure continues from there.  Now somewhere in there the dwarves come across two Elves - Legolas (Orlando Bloom, coming full circle) and an actual female named Tauriel (Lost's Evangeline Lilly), and there's actually some flirting between her and the cutest dwarf Kili (i.e. the one with the least amount of makeup).

The third act was my favorite part, when we finally meet Smaug the dragon (voiced with delicious villainy by Benedict Cumberbatch). (Hey, I just realized the dragon and the hobbit were Sherlock and Dr. Watson talking.)

It ends about as abruptly as a 2-hour 40-minute movie can, so I imagine the third one will be about as long, fleshed out nicely. And I will see that on the big screen too. I like hanging out in Middle Earth.

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