Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug--short movie review

Photo: Movie poster, from its Wikipedia page.

Very good "hallway" movie that connects the first to the yet-to-be-released third film, and apparently only meant as such.  I say that because when the one moment comes that you've been waiting for, the movie ends.  The fact that that's disappointing speaks well for how good and gripping the movie is.

Mostly it's a special effects action flick, which isn't bad, but I got the feeling that the three LOTR movies were about something a little bit more.  The first Hobbit movie was, as well.  A great deal about friendship, honesty, greed, and stamina are mentioned in those films, and for good reason.  The Ring is destroyed, after all, more because of friendship than because of any lava at Mt. Doom.  The first Hobbit movie takes a good twenty minutes right up front in the movie to show everyone's camaraderie (which seems unnecessary at the time, but isn't) and friendship, and that theme played itself out as the movie went on.

Here, there's no time for that.  We get nonstop action from the first moment until the last, with the occasional moments for budding romance thrown in.  We see swordfights galore, and lots and lots of running, and many instances of hiding, and...well, you get the idea, and I make it seem much worse than it is.  It's actually a lot of eye-popping fun (even with a very verbose dragon, and some very silly barrel / riverbanks scenes, where the Dwarfs and Hobbits run and jump like Olympians, and dozens of Orcs are nice enough to stand in a straight line so they can get knocked over by the same one barrel) and you won't realize that the two hours and forty minutes have passed until the abrupt ending.  It's a movie well worth the money.  In fact, as with all special effects flicks, if you plan to watch it at all, you have to see it on the big screen.

I'm just going to trust that the third film wraps up the themes of friendship and of reclaiming your home (I've sort of done that in real life, as you know if you follow this blog) and that the last film won't just be amazing visuals and riveting action like this one was.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  

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