The adventure continues with The Desolation of Smaug. A sequel that is better than The Unexpected Journey but still suffers from major faults that keeps it from the quality of The Lord of the Rings films.
The sequence in Mirkwood is brilliant. It is a disorienting and intense section leading to a great action set piece. The dwarves are definitely better here with the occasional amusing moment, and some are given more depth too.
I know that people shit on the CGI in the trilogy and rightly so as it mostly piss poor but that is probably because all the budget went to Smaug. Smaug is fucking incredible. It is still one of the most impressive CGI creations in cinema and every scene with him in is pretty much golden. Benedict Cumberbatch voice is honestly perfect for Smaug which only adds more to this character’s threat. His conversation with Bilbo is by far the best scene in the film. It is terrifying. It is intense. It is bloody brilliant.
Some things in The Desolation of Smaug are quite mixed. The barrel sequence is beyond ridiculous as it feels like it was ripped from a shitty video game but also, I cannot lie, it was a lot of fun. Laketown is mostly good with its seedy and corrupt atmosphere and an excellent main theme but the lord of Laketown and his servant guy (can’t remember their names and I cannot be bothered to search them up) are cartoonishly evil and are fucking irritating. He literally eats a plate of bollocks. Sadly, I am not joking. Who the fuck wrote that in?
Now, the straight up bad. I am not a fan of that fortress subplot. It is just here to connect the story to The Lord of the Rings and it is so unnecessary. The Hobbit is its own separate story and, if I am not mistaken, this subplot was not in the original book. The ending is slightly disappointing too. It ends just before the people of Laketown hear boss music. The film should have ended afterwards. That should have been the climax of the film, not the opening scene of The Battle of the Five Armies.
The more egregious weakness though is the love triangle between Legolas, Tauriel and Kili. They are all interesting characters with lots of potential in terms of story. The fact that they chose a love triangle just annoys me but, in the end, if it is well written I should have no right to complain. It is not well written.
The Desolation of Smaug is a good film. It is really entertaining with multiple memorable moments. I love the good things about the film. But everything that isn’t so good, I hate. With that being said, there is more good here than bad and is definitely better than An Unexpected Journey.
I disagree with this review so, so much.
Another Letterboxd review which explains why it is more of a rant rather than an actual review.
I saw this in theaters. Had mixed feelings. Dragon was cool though