Now that anyone who wanted to has seen the movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I think it is a good time to have a discussion without to many people screaming about spoilers. This essay is going to come in several posts because there is so much that can be said about the movie. Lets start with looking at it just as a movie and leave out the reputation of Peter Jackson, and more importantly the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
As a fantasy movie it is one of the best ever made. Lets face it, the movie was fast paced and action packed; the hero’s rode barrels down the river being chased by elves, (and orcs), giant spiders, intrigue. It was well acted and directed to be sure. Martin Freeman makes a most excellent hobbit, no complaints there. Most everyone involved did a wonderful job and even if that was not the case there was Smaug. Yep, did you see that dragon. Has there ever been a better use for CGI in any movie to date? I think not. Remember the scene where Bilbo (and the audience), sees the gold slide off the huge head of a sleeping Smaug, and then realizes the movement on the far side of the huge chamber was the dragons tail! A hell of an introduction huh. The dragon was amazing, exciting, and a little frightening at the same time. Between the look and feel of Smaug, coupled with Benedict Cumberbatch doing the voice of Smaug, it is unmatched in movie history to date. Just like the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. Star Trek, Star Wars, any other movie with CGI, just cannot stand up to it.
Peter Jackson can make an epic movie like no one else in the business today. He is to be congratulated on his accomplishments in that regard. Unfortunately this being a fantastic adventure movie is all that he is to be congratulated for because it is most definitely not a good movie version of The Hobbit. I will get further into that in my next post.