Sunday afternoon, I went to see The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug.
So, um…. well, it was long. And parts of it made me dizzy. And Thranduil’s eyebrows are stunning. They jump right off the screen at you in 3D.
But I had some issues.
BE WARNED: THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE.
SERIOUSLY – IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY STOP READING NOW.
DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.
DON’T YELL AT ME IF THIS RUINS A MAJOR PLOT POINT FOR YOU.
Okay, I think I have warned you as best as I can. So here we go.
1) Too much CG. The CG was beautiful at times, but the pace of the movie actually made it easier to spot the sloppy bits and lose the feel of it. Also, there was just too damn much. Some of the practical effects were gorgeous. Peter Jackson really needs to leave out some of the CG in the future and let the creature builders, make up artists and effects specialists do their jobs. Because it’s so much better when it’s real.
2) Tauriel. While I applaud Jackson for adding not only a female character to the film, but a strong powerful female character, (which The Hobbit was sorely lacking) the whole Kili/Tauriel thing bugs me. Okay, let’s see how this plays out. Legolas likes Tauriel, but his overly eyebrowed father won’t let him pursue her. Thranduil tells her this. Her feelings towards Legolas are confused until the moment when she meets the Hottie Dwarf. And gets all moony-eyed over him. Was that actually necessary? No. Could we PLEASE have a strong, capable, awesome female character who isn’t automatically someone’s love interest? Please stop adding extraneous love stories to otherwise awesome action movies. (And yes, I am a girl who is writing this.) The Hobbit is no place for love stories. Except of course mine. Towards Richard Armitage (Thorin, if you’re not aware), but the non-dwarf version.
3) IT WAS TOO DAMN LONG. I get that Jackson seems to think that the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies are a sweet sweet love letter to his homeland of New Zealand. And no one is denying that New Zealand is beautiful, but the outdoor sweeping scenery sequences are unnecessary. New Zealand is beautiful. We Know. We Know. We all want to visit. Can you get back to the story? Cause I have to pee.
4) Stupid Over the Top Action. Some of the action sequences were so damned ridiculous you just had to cringe. The charm of the original story of The Hobbit was that it was mostly about a character who was totally inept. Bilbo Baggins was not a superhero. He didn’t do amazing things. He stumbled through his journey and most of the action in that book happened by accident. When you take the fact that Bilbo is an accidental hero out of the story and create these elaborate choreographed action sequences that show like The Nutcracker Ballet of CG, it just feels forced. And inauthentic. And um, when did Legolas become the Elven Superman? Because seriously, that guy apparently is incapable of missing anything. And I’m pretty sure Jackson almost made him fly.
When a group of people go to a movie on a Sunday afternoon, the result you want as a filmmaker is them walking out of the theatre chattering excitedly about “and when that happened? And then when that happened?” You want them reliving all the best moments of a film. But after The Desolation of Smaug my friends and I stood outside discussing nothing more than how Lee Pace did most of his acting with his thick and lush eyebrows.
*PS – Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed The Hobbit, part deux. And I still think it’s worth seeing this movie…
BECAUSE SMAUG IS PRETTY FRAKKING AWESOME.