The first instalment of the franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey already set my expectations. The film was fantastic, and then the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came out one year later. And everybody loved The Desolation of Smaug. And I did too. The film was awesome, spectacular, stunning and fantastic and it reaches the same heights as its predecessor. And I am making my review today while the third instalment, The Battle of the Five Armies remains in cinemas until further notice.
However, I did find a few problems with the film and I will list them before rating the film and listing my Top 10 Favourite Moments. And if your one of those naysayers who disapprove of CGI, please note that I am note putting that as one of the flaws because the CGI in the film was amazing, and because I don't really mind CGI because it helps add some creative looking visuals, which makes it a spectacle to behold.
Flaw 3: Bombur's Second Barrel
Bombur's barrel flattening orcs like a pro, it was funny and a lot of other people would laugh along with it too, however, after that scene in which Bombur's barrel gets pretty messed up, Bombur hops into another barrel that comes from out of nowhere. What I'd like to know is where did it come from. No one was carrying a spare barrel and there wasn't another barrel that went down the cellar with the other dwarf-filled barrels.
Flaw 2: Tauriel and Legolas
Tauriel and Legolas were not even in the book, but their presences are still welcome. Legolas is, as I am a fan of The Lord of the Rings and it was fun to see a character from the franchise in the prequel. Even if it does feel like Sir Peter Jackson is trying to add some The Lord of the Rings elements into something that came before it. Nevertheless, Legolas is still welcome. As for Tauriel, her presence is also welcome, but I can't really help but say that it was kind of unnesscary to add some more subplots and characters to the film. Especially that love triangle between her and the dwarf Kíli. It's much like the love triangle in the Star Wars prequels. Except the dialogue is at least less creepier and less realistic in The Hobbit films. So, all in all, I didn't find Tauriel or the love triangle really necessary, but nevertheless, I still approved of it. I'd like to mention that from watching the trailer for the film, I actually thought that Tauriel would end up with Legolas.
Flaw 1: The Extended Edition
While I love the film very much, I did think that the Extended Edition was completely as unnecessary as the love triangle. The scenes were just extended just to add pointless moments in the sequences of Lake-town, Beorn's house etc.
However, the only significant scene in the Extended Edition was when (SPOILER ALERT) Gandalf finds Thorin's father, Thrain, while at Dol Guldur.
However, I don't like to be negative, especially while reviewing a great film that has received critical acclaim and success. So I will say, that other than those flaws that I just pointed out, the film was great and it was just as enjoyable as the first and the final film, the visuals were stunning, the acting was awesome (especially Benedict's excellent performance as the dragon Smaug) and it's my favourite movie of 2013.
I give the film five stars and a solid A grade.
Now onto my Top 10 Favourite Moments and Elements of the film.
Number 10: Bombur's barrel overkilling skills.
The scene was a well-made comedic scene in the film and it stands out as one of the funniest moments in the whole Middle-earth Saga.
Number 9: Thranduil
Lee Pace did an amazing job at being an elvenking and a sort of villain as well. Though he doesn't really make a villain, since its just he's lost his sanity. And I will explain to those of you who do not know. The darkness that lies upon Mirkwood and the elves of Mirkwood that Beorn said is the thing. And it's because of Sauron. Because Dol Guldur is near Mirkwood and it seems that Sauron is filling the forest full of darkness and illusion.
Number 8: Legolas
Legolas wasn't in the original novel, there's no denying, but still Thranduil is his father and it kinda does make sense that Legolas should be added into the film. His presence is still welcome, and it is great to see him kicking orc butt and doing some stunts.
Number 7: The dwarves finally reach the mountain.
I admit that when they lost the light and that it seemed as if they would never enter the mountain, I kinda lost all hope. Then it turned out to be the light of the moon and it gave me my hopes back and when Balin sobs a little with happiness that they had finally reached the mountain, it was a really touching moment.
Number 6: Lake-town
It's very pleasing to see a new place in Middle-earth and the way that the town is very poor and "forsaken" due to Smaug taking over the mountain, kinda reminds me of the corrupt capital in The Hunger Games. Stephen Fry was the actor who played the Master of Lake-town and Ryan Gage played his deputy, Alfrid Lickspittle. Both of them are honourless and unlikable characters from the films, but the actors both did a great job, nevertheless.
Number 5: Bard the bowman
Its always fun to introduce a new character, especially in sequels of a blockbuster franchise. Luke Evans did an amazing job at acting. I wondered what would happen to him after he got captured, whether or not he would escape and stop the dragon from destroying Lake-town and that's what gave me the chills whenever I see the cliffhanger ending.
Number 4: Bilbo found "something" in the Goblin tunnels.
I was wondering when Bilbo would tell Gandalf about him finding the One Ring and it was a powerful moment when Bilbo was about to tell him, but then he says "I found my courage". I guess that was for the best since the One Ring is evil and Gandalf might've done something with the ring before Bilbo needed it later on in the franchise.
Number 3: Gandalf vs. Sauron / The Necromancer
The battle between the titular wizard of the saga and the Dark Lord of Mordor was awesome. It was even more thrilling to see Sauron reveal himself to Gandalf. I was also wondering whether or not Gandalf would escape capture as well as Bard. I would also like to mention that Benedict Cumberbatch also played Sauron as well as Smaug.
Number 2: The Battle in the Forges
Much like the battle between Sauron and Gandalf, this fight between the dwarves, Bilbo and Smaug was also a delightful spectacle and the dragon fight was awesome. It was really cool when Thorin stands up to Smaug before trying to kill him with the heated melted gold before Smaug makes his escape to destroy Esgaroth for helping the dwarves in a chilling cliffhanger that left audiences with goosebumps and so many questions waiting to be answered. Just think, if it had been like Empire Strikes Back and we would've had to wait for three years instead of one year...
And Number 1: Smaug
Benedict Cumberbatch was Oscar-worthy and amazing in the role of the film's main antagonist. He stole every scene and he was the villain that reached instant iconic status and critical acclaim. Much like Andy Serkis, however, Cumberbatch did not get nominated for an Oscar, which was pretty depressing to me. I remember making a joke if an Oscar awarded to Benedict Cumberbatch would've been amongst the treasure hoard.
Well, that concludes another review, I hope you enjoyed reading, let me know what your opinions and favourite moments in the film were and until next time...