REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

DEC. 14, 2013

I just came from watching “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and I’m surprised to say it’s actually good. In fact it is as equally good as “The Fellowship of the Ring” which in my view is the best movie out of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

After the bloated and meandering The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson must have heard the criticism and figured he had to re-focus on the story and stop with the filler story and uninteresting action. Even though The Hobbit part 2 is almost 3 hours long, it did not feel long. In fact, I wanted to see more.

There were moments in the movie that brought the same childlike awe and wonder and sense of adventure that I felt when I first saw Lord of the Rings part 1. The feeling where you are totally engrossed by the world and the characters of the movie. Those were feelings that I never felt in The Hobbit part 1.

After watching The Hobbit part 1, I felt empty and un-engaged and couldn’t care less about the characters. It’s like watching a badly edited movie or an extended version where some scenes should not have been included in the final cut. But for The Hobbit part 2, after watching the movie, I instantly wanted to watch it again and it made me excited to see The Hobbit part 3. If The Hobbit part 1 is bloated and fat, The Hobbit part 2 is lean and bad ass.

The one gripe that I have about The Hobbit part 2 is the look of the movie watching it at 48 frames per second. It looked to me like watching a video game. Basically the parts in a video game that show a short film telling the story of the game like what you see in Grand Theft Auto or Batman: Arkham Asylum or any recent role playing game.

At times it felt like watching a motion capture cartoon. For me this kind of movie deserves to look cinematic and not like a cartoon. So if you do decide to watch the movie, I suggest to watch it in 2D. Knowing what I know now, I would have watched The Hobbit part 2 in 2D or even in IMAX 3D. Actually now that I thought about it, I’m going to watch it again in IMAX and see how it compares. But one thing is for sure, the Hobbit part 2 deserves to be seen in the big screen.

Plus I’m loving the closing song to the movie.