Sooooo, this movie was abso-freaking-lutely amazing. For starters.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the many fandoms that Jonathan and I were independently smitten with, prior to meeting one another. It’s one of those unexpected sources of romance in our marriage (and at times a source of sexting gone awry). The only difference in our Tolkien obsession is that I am more of a Hobbit fan while my husband is more of a Lord of the Rings trilogy fan. (See, despite these occasional marriage rending differences, we still somehow manage. That’s commitment for you.)
I’d have to say, I found this movie far superior to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in virtually every way. And that’s really saying something, since the first movie was exceptionally epic. Of course, the Desolation of [insert your pronunciation here] has the advantage of the introductions and the bag packing for the journey conveniently out of the way, so it was able to just jump straight into the action. And DOES IT EVER.
Was this movie really three hours???! How?! Where did the time go? Did the sheer amount of overwhelming awesome just suck my life away? Did my captivation with the lands of Lothlorien render me incapable of noticing time as it exists to humans?! Okay, okay, I’ll dispense with the LARP-quality adorations for the rest of this movie review… maybe… but seriously though. WTFOMG this movie is quite good.
The visuals were stunning, the cinematography was breathtaking, the costuming was begging for me to recreate it for some epic level cosplay, the set design was fascinating and the effects were unbelievable. I do think The Hobbit is destined to be set apart along with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as one of the most impressive fantasy films ever made.
There were SOME teeny weeny, itsy bitsy moments that made Jon and I kind of roll our eyes, and every single one of them was due to the IMAX 3-D excesses. Just things like pointless emphasis on detail to show off to the folks wearing 3D glasses, like the bumblebee flying up to Bilbos face and so on. But those minor flaws are the only thing I can really bring to mind as far as negative aspects for this film.
But everything else.. oh man. I guess I am exceptionally excited by this film, because I was so apprehensive about some of the more childlike fantasy scenes in The Hobbit and I was so nervous that it wouldn’t work out well on the big screen.. like the barrel scene. That had so much potential to be a horrible flop. Really? Dwarves escaping from barrels? (I had The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins sung by Leonard Nemoy stuck in my head the entire time, I confess.) But the barrel scene was anything but childlike and corny. It had all the lighthearted elements of fancy with all the nail-biting action of any fast paced escape scene. Desolation of Smaug took fantasy book whimsy and made it a larger than life believable adventure. The kind that every nerd everywhere thought only existed in their fevered imaginations.
I think that’s what is so fun about these films for the Tolkien geeks. Our childhood midnight readings have quite literally come to life, in far greater and gruesome detail than we’d ever imagined. Each time Legolas owned an orc in some agonizingly unique way, I wanted to stand up and cheer. (In fact, I may have done so, I don’t even know, I was so into this flick..) The computer generated special effects were perfectly tempered by seamlessly choreographed hand to hand combat. Not to mention it was great seeing Legolas again. I’d like to go “There And Back Again” if you know what I mean. *wink wink nudge nudge*
But I mean, when you read The Hobbit (and if you haven’t, just.. just go away) did you ever picture the action on this scale? Like the spiders… holy eff!!! Creepy, right?! It was.. hpfsdudovhsdjha…. Ahhh. I just have to button mash. Freaking SPIDERS.
And of course, last but not least, Smaug!! This movie could NOT have been made a decade ago. This story was fated to be made when technology could render a dragon like Smaug in such detail and glory. The face was anthropomorphic enough to display emotion and the subtleties of conversation, yet simultaneously 100% serpentine and reptilian. A true work of art. Seriously. Have I gushed enough over this film? I probably have.
I’ll close by saying, BEST CLIFFHANGER, EVAR and I’m impatient for The Hobbit 3, Burninating the Countryside. ^_^ So what did YOU think of the movie?!