I had a grand plan a year ago….I’d wait till a week before The Desolation of Smaug is released before watching An Unexpected Journey. Now I’m gonna have to add that to my top 5 regrets for 2013 because I just want more. Naturally in “Lord of the Rings” tradition, there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, the good news is we just need to wait a year before finding out what happens next, the bad news is…..we have to wait a year.
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
The Hobbit has it’s differences to Lord of the Rings because the earlier trilogy was each a book on it’s own, whereas The Hobbit is one book split into 3 movies. I do think though that there is a lot more detail in the movie as a result. Peter Jackson has also tried to “link” the trilogies by bringing back Legolas (Orlando Bloom). He wasn’t in the book and I know fanboys are gonna be outraged that Mr Jackson decided to change things when he said that Legolas is an Elf and they live for very long so it makes sense that he would exist during that time.
Well Orlando didn’t look like he aged a day since the last film 10 years ago….amazing! What do these celebrities eat man. Anyway another change would be another Elf in the form of Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly (Whom I’ve been in love with for a few years btw). She’s another character that’s not in the original book. But you know when you break one long book into 3 films and you add that much more detail into it, you’ll find that the casting of these 2 characters makes sense and works for the film.
Obviously from a commercial point of view, Orlando Bloom is the crowd drawer….trust me, the girls in my row screamed when he appeared.
For me, the best casting or standout actor for this film was Benedict Cumberbatch who voiced Smaug. Yes all he did was lend his voice but it was the most brilliant voice casting ever. It’s just his vocal presence, that command and power and sinister nature was just so perfect. As a voice actor myself, I was blown away by his performance.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Yes, you will be frustrated because you have to wait another year for the next installment but this film is a must watch for all Hobbit fans!
By: Elliott Danker
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in cinemas 12 Dec 2013
images courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures Singapore
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