Reel Quick: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

[The second part in the 4-part series “Movies I Watched on a Plane Back from Barcelona”]


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)



Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, dwarves

Directed by: Peter Jackson (Meet the Feebles; Bad Taste; Dead Alive)

Synopsis:  Bilbo and the dwarves finally reach their destination… and that’s about it.

*spoilers below!*

What Works:

  • Evangeline Lilly is the hottest elf chick ever.
  • Smaug is cool, and Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job with the voice and the facial mo-cap.
  • Ummmm…

What Doesn’t Work:  

  • I don’t know what’s going on with Peter Jackson. It just seems like he’s about 1/100th as passionate about these Hobbit movies than he was about Lord of the Rings. I don’t think he ever wanted to direct this trilogy in the first place. You want to know what the problem probably is?
  • Guillermo del Toro. Possibly the most overrated person working in the film industry. “Hey guys, I designed a creature that has 16 penises and eyes at the tip of each one.” “You’re brilliant!!”
  • I honestly couldn’t tell you the names of half of the dwarves. The only ones I really know for sure are Thorin the Incredible Asshole and Kili the Lovestruck Creep. There’s no reason to care about any of them, and since we know that Bilbo, Gandalf and Legolas make it through all this just fine, none of the danger scenes in this movie have any actual danger in them whatsoever.
  • The love triangle between Kili, Tauriel and Legolas is the most unnecessary thing since Jesse Eisenberg’s Oscar nomination. I thought it was odd in the first Hobbit how all the dwarves looked odd (comically enormous nose and/or crazy hair and/or oddly shaped body) except Kili. He just looked like a normal guy, but shorter. Now it makes sense: so the romance between him and Tauriel is more palpable. For example, if she fell for this cat, audiences would probably have a harder time buying it:
  • Did I mention this movie is longer than the gestational period of a manatee?

Overall: This movie is just kind of… there. It’s not bad, it’s not particularly good, it’s just mundane. It’s a complete going through the motions, a series of scenes not tied together with any kind of emotional weight. Nothing much really happens, it just is. This movie exists because they need a second part of a trilogy, Bilbo and Gandalf are the only two characters worth giving a crap about, but you already know how their story goes. *spoiler* Like when Gandalf is locked in a cage at the end, you already know he’s going to get out and be just fine, so there’s no reason to worry about what’s going to happen to him. None of the other characters are interesting, and Thorin, who is supposed to be one of the protagonists, is one of the most unlikable assholes in movie history. And I don’t care if he was that way in the book, they’ve gone so far off the book at this point that they could at least make him semi-tolerable. If only Smaug had taken one of the literally dozens of chances he had to kill him.

This trilogy truly does feel like the Star Wars prequels, with The Lord of the Rings being the original Star Wars trilogy. While The Hobbit trilogy is not nearly as bad as the Star Wars prequels, they still reek of Jackson phoning it in and just wanting to get the job done. And that’s just a shame, since we know he’s capable of so much better.

Score: 6 dwarves too many (out of 10)

19 thoughts on “Reel Quick: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  1. Yes to all of this. I still enjoyed the movie pretty well, but so much about it bothers me. The fucking idiotic love triangle, the fact that it tears the focus away from Bilbo, that pointless scene at the very beginning of the movie…UGH. He’s trying to make it into another LOTR trilogy, but The Hobbit just isn’t that kind of story.

    Fun fact: Tolkien actually refers to Thorin as The Incredible Asshole in the book, but not because he’s a jerk–he just has a very impressive sphincter. #themoreyouknow


  2. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest VIII – Day 25: Bad Taste | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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