Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2013]

I swear I'll watch everything with Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien names on it, especially when it comes to prequel of my most favorite trilogy of the LOTR. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a descent followup prequel to previous trilogy and definite improvement compared to first part of it. 

I always find hard to judge movies which are prequels or sequels of iconic films, that I adore and have watched dozens of times, especially when decade has passed after their premiere. And I know how hard it is for Peter to repeat the same success in both ways - love of critics and love of fans. But I guess, he has just done it with very entertaining story, fascinating visuals and brilliant cast - just what everyone wanted to see. The only problem you can find compared to the LOTR is that  Rings first two movies were preparation for epic battle in the third and here, the second part had a distracting story of Smaug - a dragon. I know this is a story of Hobbit but I wanted a bit more of Sauron here. But it was still epic in every sense Jackson's movies are. 

First of all, I loved new cast members: Evangeline Lilly steals every moment she's in. What a brilliant pick as Tauriel. I always imagined her to be this kind of hero - a romantic fighter woman (at least, that's what she was in Lost). Also, Luke Evans as Bard was quite good addition. Since he appears in the very last part of movie, I guess his major acting part comes in third episode of trilogy.

Benedict Cumberbatch's incredible voice made Smaug a great character and spending last 30 minutes with him and Martin Freeman was quite entertaining (remember those two in Sherlock! It's the same). Having not read the book, I liked that they did not kill a dragon in final scene, I'd not very much enjoy predicting it.

The Hobbit 2 is well done as a fantasy movie with brilliant production design, visual effects and sounds. All these comes down to massive impression in 3D. Cinematography is quite good too, but I have to say - surplus of color blue annoys me, if it had more natural & pure colors, I'd thank. Editing impresses during action scenes. So, this film has everything that won't make you bored, it even excites.

But what I did not like is music, especially a song by Ed Sheeran. First, song itself is not as good as even in Unexpected Journey (I loved "Lonely Mountain") and second, Ed's voice did not "fit" movie itself (Ok, I know "Into the West" was performed by woman). I expected some epic scores, but instead I heard the old ones over and over again. I can't even remember any new tracks.

As for directing and writing, it's good - not as perfect as the last LOTR, but still descent. The Hobbit is kind of film which isn't a masterpiece, but it bring so much good and so much fun that you can't forget it.

Oscar chances? Visual Effects - YES. Production Design - YES. Editing- I doubt that, NO. Sounds - possible but not shoo-in. 

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