Here we are, for part two of ‘The Hobbit’. Many ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans will remember a similar feeling back in 2002 after ‘The Two Towers’, where you sat through another two and a half hours of a story and it still didn’t come to a conclusion. But you feel absolutely no regret, but only eagerness and frustration when you remember you have to wait a whole year for the final part of the story.
Though both ‘Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ trilogies were originally written by JRR Tolkien, both written for the screen by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and both directed by Peter Jackson, they are very different. ‘Rings’ was an epic battle for the whole of Middle Earth and ‘The Hobbit’ was written as a children’s story, ‘Rings’ had a largely unknown cast unless you had watched a lot of niche indie movies or old British television, and the trilogy propelled the cast to fame. ‘The Hobbit’ has a main cast that are famous already: Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace. Maybe the producers felt they couldn’t achieve the same success as they did with ‘Rings’, so hired already famous actors to star to bump up the ratings. Either way, it is still an epic trilogy.
In ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ we see even more connections being made to the future such as The Prancing Pony in Bree, the true identity of the Necromancer, Legolas (pre-fellowship), his Elvish Woodland Realm including his father, and even more history of the dwarves which include Legolas and Gimli’s dad meeting - amazing. The storyline, though not as complex as Rings, is still a joy to watch. The CGI technology has certainly improved since ‘Rings’ days, and this is clear, Goblins and many of the main orcs are now CGI instead of the use of massive men and a lot of great makeup. The phenomenal Smaug the dragon has been so well done: his scales; the fire, and his movements are incredible. The 3D version is available, but this isn’t a necessity, you can still very much enjoy the film without it. But, if you do opt for 3D, then the stunning CGI and the New Zealand scenes will surely take your breath away, they truly are breathtaking.
If you’ve seen the first part and were not convinced by this new trilogy, then please do give it another go and watch the second part. The first part was to set the scene, the history, the mission at hand, and also to introduce and develop the characters. It was a slower film, but necessary to set the tone for the future films. ‘Desolation’ was set up by its former; therefore it has the room to be much more action-packed, fast-paced and epic. However, it also revealed more history through all of this, for this reason, the countdown to December 2014 has begun. The final film will be even better than this one, just as ‘The Return of the King’ blew ‘The Two Towers’ out of the water, my feeling is that this time next year, we’ll experience cinematic history yet again.
Definitely go and see this film…