The Desolation of Smaug was a highly enjoyable film, assuming you check your copy of the Hobbit at the door. Much of the key elements of the book were downplayed in favor of new plots and subplots that were totally of Jacksons’ own creation. In many ways this worked well, as that it became a bit more of an adult movie rather than a children’s book.
Thorin in particular came off well in the changes, become more of a tragic hero than the arrogant headstrong character of the Hobbit. Indeed, in some ways he was far more central to the plot of the movie than Bilbo was (perhaps it should have been called the Dwarf instead of the Hobbit). Armitage played him brilliantly and the added scenes with Smaug really turned the dwarves into heroic characters rather than they seemed in the book.
The elf-based subplots also worked very well, even the somewhat unusual love triangle that appears. Of course, none of this existed in the books at all. Nor did any of the Gandalf storylines… though they were at least alluded to… well most of them. The eye to eye confrontation that occurs most certainly is not in the book.
As for the movie making – see it in IMAX 3D. Really. The frame rate issue shown on a normal screen will be even more than it was in the last film… but plays well in IMAX…
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Good review Thomas. If you enjoyed the first Hobbit movie, then this one wont disappoint, but may not bring much new either.
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I felt that Jackson’s additions from the appendices and his own imagination really helped this work translate to film. Tolkien’s prequel story is there, but it is sandwiched in an elaborate set up for the Lord of the Rings- which was really a brilliant way to tie it all together. Great review!
Thanks! I suspect it will be a love it or hate it film for most. I read one review where the viewer was bored because there was too much action… another where he was bored because there was too little of the book… I agree with you that if you view it as a film based on the book in the same way one views made for tv movies as inspired by real evens, you will find it fun.