When I sit in the movie theatre, I aim to enjoy the show and for a few hours, engross my mind with another’s life story or adventures, and marvel at the talents of the filmmakers. It is indeed an enormous feat bringing together artists of different skills in order to produce a single movie, not to mention the complexity of juggling politics and finance. The Hobbit is a gigantic undertaking that deserves scrutiny.
Last year (2012) we were served with The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey, directed and co-written by Peter Jackson, who had presented us with the amazingly and enduringly mesmerizing LOTR Trilogy. The Hobbit is a prequel trilogy to the LOTR.
The Unexpected Journey is not as good as the LOTR in terms of story-telling, and the CGI was, at times, a bit sloppy. But it still entertained, therefore, I was eager to see the rest of Bilbo’s journey. So, off to the cinema I went to watch its sequel, The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug.
In The Unexpected Journey, we learned some parts of the Dwaft kingdom’s history and saw how the group were formed and how they overcame their distrust and became a team. It was a ‘team’ story, so nobody really stood out, unlike the LOTR which was filled with memorable characters that we came to love or hate. Remember Boromir (Sean Bean) who most of us hated and yet we still mourned his death? In short, The Unexpected Journey was quite a cheerful movie, but failed to grab our hearts.
The Desolation of Smaug, on the other hand, explores the darker side of every specie, ie the wizard, hobbit, dwarf, elves and the human. We will see the start of Bilbo Baggin’s (Martin Freeman) addiction to ‘Precious’, Thorin Oakenshield’s (Richard Armitage) obsession with claiming his birthright and Smaug’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) greed.
Bard (Luke Evans), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) are welcome addition to the movie. But I was quite surprised to see that the pillar that supports the group is actually the wise Balin (Ken Stott).
In my opinion, Desolation of Smaug is much better than the Unexpected Journey, and I hope the next chapter, The Hobbit : There and Back Again, will be even better.
I have only minor complaints though, such as the lack of English subtitles for the Elven and Orc languages, and the cliff-hanger ending – I wish the ending did not make me leave the theatre feeling so, hmmm…, unsatisfied. Surely, I am not going to watch this movie twice, at least not until after the final chapter is out.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug