When in Manila, the Hobbit’s story continues.
The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug is the second of the film trilogy of the adaptation of the book – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien which is the prequel to the much celebrated trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
The film rolls and continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) shot in the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. The journey is filled with challenges, and personal struggles to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
A children’s book split into three movies, running in more than 2 hours – expect a lot of action and dialogues in this movie. The movie is stretched to add new twists and turns, and characters that put a good blend in the film.
[SPOILERS START NOW!]
The dialogues help in building the characters of the film – including that of Legolas’ (Orlando Bloom) who is not originally part of the book story. As for someone who has not read the book, I was able to pick up on the story on the first hour of the film. Legolas, ironically appears conceited and spoiled in this film; the opposite of the heart-throb elf warrior that we know from Lord of the Rings movie.
I cannot count how many times the movie put me on the edge of my seat, as the Middle-earth travelers encounter series of challenges – and most of them they were able to escape. Thank you to Bilbo Baggins and Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lily), who comes always on the right time to save the group.
Swords and arrows dominate the film with some gory details of headless Orcs, giant spiders, and a fierce dragon. The special effects are simply, amazing; and the fights will make you breathless. I like Legolas’ fight against Orcs, with the dwarves (literally) providing a strong support in the scene. Gandalf also shared a few good fight scenes that might come as a surprise to some audience who remember this wizard whose power is wisdom in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. If the Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug is not a movie prequel, I would seriously worry about Gandalf’s life.
If you find the Orcs scary, prepare to meet the fierce dragon, Smaug which voice was given life by Benedict Cumberbatch. Watching the film and seeing how powerful and strong one dragon can be, I am thankful this creature is non-existent in my world. Thankful that I am just but a viewer, seeing a great work of animation and graphics come true to life in an amazing movie such as the Hobbit 2.
Add a little romance in the film, I like Tauriel and Kili‘s (Aidan Turner) moments. From where I was seated on the left side of the theater, I could sense the attraction between the two – who are very different in many ways, being obvious is their races. Throw Legolas in the scene, and you have a love triangle. Turiel and Legolas are not part of the original story, but their addition to the movie stretches the film in a good way, as it serves as a break from the gory fight scenes.
Having seen the movie in High Frame Rate Format (Thank you SM IMAX!), the experience of watching the movie is like being in the film and seeing all the magnificent scenes – from the great mountain, magnificent landscapes, deep rivers and underground castles – it is like being there in New Zealand with the characters.
The special effects are seamless and grand – and because we have seen the movie in 3D format, we have seen (and felt) everything in the film, to the smallest details. It is totally a different movie experience; but as the movie progresses, it gives a making-of-the-movie feel — that is because everything seems so real in front of you (it makes me feel like I were in a studio). I kind of long for the magic of seeing warmth and feeling the escape of watching a film.
I asked for a friend’s thoughts on this. He is a true-blue LOTR fanboy (Ralph Jacob):
The Hobbit 2 – The Desolation of Smaug was a mish-mash of busy scenes, that tried to cater to the short attention span of the blockbuster crowd. Bloated to almost 3 hours, it had to try very hard indeed.
It lacked the grand-but-clever combo that made Lord of the Rings such a legend.
But hey I’m a hardcore Lord of the Rings fanboy, so it still left me breathless!
Nonetheless, a Peter Jackson film will sure capture the heart of viewers. People might say they have already read the book, know the plot and where it is ending, but the new twists, turns and fires in The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug movie are something to watch out for.
What are your expectations of the film?
Drop a comment, let’s discuss!
The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug
opens December 13, 2013 in Philippine Cinemas
by Warner Bros. Pictures
Watch in 2D, 3D or IMAX HFR format
[Movie Review] The Hobbit 2 – The Desolation of Smaug