“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Review


I knew that this would happen when they announced that The Hobbit would span out into three films instead of one. I knew that when they announced The Hobbit they could go two ways: either doing one 3 hour movie which just goes by the book, or span it out into 3 movies and add a ton of bullshit. They essentially went with the second choice which in my opinion for a content creator is a bad choice. All they had in sight was the money that they could make by advertising this brand new epic trilogy that will be as bad ass as The Lord Of The Rings, yet still stay faithful to the fun style of the book. Nothing worked out for me to be honest. Lets talk about the issues one by one.

-The CGI-

It’s gone, the feeling of middle earth is gone. The over use of CGI is just awful. When someone wants to create this magical fantasy universe they should try their best to make it as immersive as possible. You want us to feel like we want to be part of the world and make it have a specific look and feel. What you gave us was something I couldn’t watch to be honest. I felt like after every cut I was somewhere else, a great example is the river rapid scene. It was literally a joke. I felt like it was 5 different places. The far shot looked like middle earth in terms of the colors and the feel. They turn back to a close shot and they look like they are standing behind a horrible projected screen as the actors ride the rapids so unnaturally. Then we finally get this weird first person view which looks like its been filmed with a flipping phone from the stone age. I don’t understand it. Why would you want to disconnect us from your world. I understand the use of CGI for mythical creatures and what not. What I don’t like is the use of CGI for everything except the humans. I mean the landscapes and the areas of LOTR were what made the movie iconic. It gave us the right taste of middle earth. It never took us on this incredible art gallery then suddenly threw us in the janitors closet. We felt that human touch and struggle in LOTR, this just feels like dead. The thing that annoys me the most is that now with double the budget of the first trilogy, they could have expanded their search of areas. They could have focused more on real sets and real areas, not just green screening everything and wasting every cent to the graphics department. I guess my only compliment of the CGI was that Smaug did feel very terrifying. Though when again a lot of times he just felt out of place which was again, sad. I know that this might be very negative, but this is not something good for the film industry. Same goes to many other mediums which have advanced, they started to forget the core of the art itself. Remember when movies had no sound, what did they do? They were creative. Look at a trip to the moon for gods sake, that movie was more immersive than this one, and that came out A HUNDRED AND ELEVEN YEARS AGO. Sigh, I don’t want this to start being the norm. We have these movies which are being praised by mainstream public, and when I see a beautiful modern movie with core film elements it gets shat on by everyone. I don’t know, I hope the public will start to change their taste and not stand by overuse of CGI and not allowing it to become something normal.

-The Story- 

I can explain the entire story of the hobbit with one sentence. A journey with countless impossible situations and last minute bail-outs. This is one of the worst trends I’ve seen in movies. This “trope-y” style has to stop. Every popcorn movie nowadays seems to just put the main character(s) into impossible situations over and over again and have them magically escape them. This is merely there to elongate the story as they have clearly made one book into three movies. They just make everything drag on and place a few funny one liners to lighten up the mood. The Hobbit was a joyful lighthearted adventure as opposed to the LOTR, and I am okay with that. What I am not okay with is what they did in the movies. It feels like a tug of war between trying to create an epic-er trilogy while still holding true to the lightheartedness of the book. It won’t work like that, each piece of content should be given what it deserves and shouldn’t be based on what it’s predecessors did. If you want to create something new, you shouldn’t just go off, of the nostalgia factor. Give it what it deserves and it will be something different but it will still be good because it is what was needed for that piece of content.

-The Verdict-

This review is short but that’s only because I just came back from the cinema and I haven’t had a chance to let my thoughts sink in. I usually tend to steer clear from these cult movies and popular mainstream movies. The reason is that my opinion isn’t a very popular one, and I am not here just to bash on these movies for the mere fact of being cynical. I just say what I think and that’s all that matters, and whatever your opinion is I respect that as well. It is just helpful I believe to write something even if it isn’t a popular opinion. If it is presented well maybe some might agree, or no one would, that is fine, it is good to have two sides of an argument instead of one. At the end of the day, if you enjoyed it, that’s really great and that’s all it comes down to. Finally, I want to emphasize that my negative remarks towards this movie were not just out of hardheartedness. This review  comes from a fan of the Lord of the Rings series. I am a person who doesn’t really enjoy fantasy that much, yet I adore the LOTR series for what it presented. It gave us that immersion and that connection to the adventure and the hardships. I wanted this movie to be a joyful adventure which stuck true to the fans and the contents. I don’t want to see another LOTR, I want to see The Hobbit, on it’s own as it should be. Anyway that is my very short review feel free to discuss and give your points, I accept any criticism and feedback no matter how harsh it may be. Visit the contact me page if you want to talk  to me anywhere about whatever~

Thank you for reading.

  1. The CGI was indeed disappointing, felt like a sequence of cutscenes from a video game at several points. Also, I didn’t mind much about the new female character, but the unnecessary romance had utterly ruined it. It bugs me even more that they could’ve instead used that time to further develop some of the dwarves’ characters! I’d still watch it again though. One more thing, Sauron’s revelation scene = 7 Nation Army.

    • Hashemitsu
    • December 16th, 2013

    After my experience with the first Hobbit movie, I was so happy with it that I think that made me expect too much (which I always try my best not to do) out of the Desolation of Smaug. I was looking forward to it so much, and I planned to catch a showing during the day sometime in this week. Unexpectedly though, we went to watch a late showing at night, and I was in a fairly wrong mood to do so. It couldn’t have been any worse of an emotional state to watch a movie I’ve been anticipating. So because of all that, I thought maybe that’s why I felt so…odd and disappointed after actually watching it. And after leaving I decided not to judge, and wait for a chance to watch it again before finalising what I thought of it.
    Now that I’ve read your review, I can see my situation hadn’t had the effect I thought it did. Mashallah you used the proper words and terminology to describe what I found hard to explain. The movie didn’t feel right to me, there was something off (which I know understand was because of the CGI), it was like half of what I thought it would be. I didn’t get to really live Middle Earth like I did with the previous movies, and it just wasn’t what it could have been. As you pointed out, the landscapes and sceneries were always so amazing and realistic, it gave you an almost clear idea of the geographical areas their journeys pass through. And the characters felt a little out of place, compared to how they used to. Like for instance in LOTR which was so long ago the Hobbits did look so much shorter when standing next to the elves or men but it actually made sense, because of the way they interacted. They way they moved around each other, and made eye contact and stuff. It made it seem realistic, at least to me. But in Desolation of Smaug like for instance when what’s his name the elf King and Thorin were speaking, I really don’t know how to explain it but they both felt out of place. Like they weren’t really on par, and the differences between them were amplified somehow. It felt awkward.
    Now, one thing I disagree with is the whole last-minute-escaping-the-situation kinda thing, I dunno it felt okay to me. I actually kinda like it :p the idea of still having a chance no matter how slim the probabilities are. But I agree with the rest, some things were dragged out uselessly. Like they wouldn’t change anything whether they were still there or removed. It’s so sad, this movie had so much potential :c
    And now that I read your review I think I really should read The Hobbit first and then watch the movies, I think I am actually making the mistake of expecting another LOTR. Or maybe I just wanted to relive Middle Earth as it seemed again.
    Oh by the way, what were you thoughts on the acting in this movie? Any comments?
    Well anyway, awesome post as always ^^ It helped me figure out what might be my problem with the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug :p actually I think I still should watch it again, I need to pinpoint what is it I’m disappointed with if it’s not only the CGI.

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