The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Reviews

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½ April 29, 2017
Oh dear, this movie has so much padding that it's ready to play some ice hockey. It makes the fatal mistake of turning into fan fiction with the added filler rather than properly adaptating the book and ending it here. Though the action sequences can be entertaining they go on for far too long and become ridiculous and detrimental to the film's staggering bloat. The Kili/Tauriel/Legolas love triangle is just horrible and forced. This installment is what derailed The Hobbit trilogy.
April 25, 2017
Great film. Super fantasy. I loved it.
½ April 22, 2017
This movie has some issues, but overall it's almost as amazing as the first part.
½ April 19, 2017
Decent action packed adventure
April 6, 2017
too much plot, too many characters, choppy special effects, and way too long. apparently I'm the only one who really didn't like this.. Oh well!
½ March 26, 2017
When we can recall the first time seeing some people calling on their help when they were needed at the right time. When we see the importance of what we are seeing to do it for others. When what we see we hide when dangers lurk. When what others see they wish to kill. When what we see we can't see when they are shape shifters that can change. When all we want to see is war and destruction when somethings stand in our way. When we see the right people up for the task. When we see others hunt for sport. When we see dangers all around to not know when death would come to places not many go to. When what we don't kill, we see growing into an army. When we see such things that grow are too evil to side with. When such places we see we need to be equipped and ready for the dark dangers that lurk. When what we don't need to see but feel know is growing. When we see such evils return to know it is hidden and unseen that is beyond others yo voyage but a few with powers. When we thst we only have one chance to do some things. When others see other things in us when we have changed but don't know  but us. When we see some change is heading our way when something has been growing ready to takeover.

When we see that following some paths take us in circles that we need to see from a different view to know the direction. When somethings we see we hide from when they see us as food. When we see we must fight our way when they over power us. When we see that holding on to somethings over power us when we can see evil in what others can't see but us to know it consumes us. When somethings thst see us, gates us when we have a past but same enemy to know what is important. When what we see we take from when we have been seen as thieves, to be open into our doors first. When what we see we like but font show it. When we see alot to notice what is going on between others. When we see that relations between us have been bad in the oast yo not see scars of what costs we gave suffered in the hands of our enemies. When we see that we cannot let the past down to trade anything away for it. When we see we must imprison those whom disobey. When we see another way when they don't deserve imprisonment when we see the same thing but our prides get in the way. When we see others are harmless and not what is told unto us about some people to see others differently and have our ears, eyes and mouth and attention. When what we see we keep an eye on.

When we wish not to be seen we hide when we don't know where things are heading when greater things are heading our way. When we see how such pasts can shape the future when we see how loathed we are regarded. When we see we must get those out to safety. When we see away out thst others can't see to steer clear of danger and get out another way. When we see how others get out to only follow. When we see we are trapped to only be saved by what threatens us and others to fight our way out. When we see we are not just hanging on to the ride but fighting our way on a ride. When we see whom had our back when we needed it. When we don't see such evils to only know it is a servant of evil, 1 of 9. When some people we see we must meet to seek their help in dark times to go through far lengths and places to reach. When we see cannot let others slow us down when we are being chased. When we see we must rid all trespassers to only wish help for trade. When there is nothing more we want to see but our death to see we are threatened by something greater. When we see we must help those when they are hurt to offer a cure. When we see we are not dealing with some things that don't want peace but war to value life, but death.

When we see we value money, when we are a business man. When we see sail safe passages unseen when we are risking alot. When we see that in some places we are governed and live on little when we have a unkind king. When we see that people are not valued as much as we see them to know we provide peace and could provide rioting if things are seen going a certain direction.

When we see that everything comes at a cost when times are hard and everything is of value even our head. When what we see we don't know or see through the eyes of a child's wonder. When what we see is a reminder of a past tale we were told, that have many interpretations. When what we see we don't know if we can withstand when we are not properly equipped. When what we see, others dont see, but others could see that we prefer them hiding. When some prophecies and tales that are told are true when we see the signs to stop those before it's too late. When we see that others have our backs to follow behind us. When some things are easy to see when they are noticeably loud to stop them in their tracks. When we see that we must do somethings when we can restore everything that was once lost. When we can see others have failed when they were related to us and see that in such places it is needed but the risks of failure could cost everything. When we only see that we value the riches of some ventures to welcome visitors. When we see that we are in the company of a king and brave fighters to see to victory. When we see others can't come when they are ill. When we see that others have our backs and see to our recovery. When we must see others for help again when they once opened their doors to us know they can help us when nobody else would. When what nobody else sees how unalienable we are when we help or don't help to only want somethings only. When we see we arrived to some places where evil remains, to see an entrance in. When what we see once promising and flourishing now brought to ruins. When somethings we see remain hidden and unseen when it's covered in the abandonments of its own ruins. When we don't see somethings but prepared for anything to see through any evil tricks. When we see others have been waiting for us. When what we see we put to good use in finding passage. When we see that not many can enter when we carry the only key. When we can't see away in when we lose the light. When we see when we regain the right light with the right eyes to see to we get in. When we never thought we would see past the wall of places we long left again. When it's everything that we imagine seeing when we are told about it. When somethings we don't see are revealed to us when our purpose is to see to it that we retrieve it. When somethings we are told we wish not to see. When we see somethings are more powerful then we ours. When somethings that we remain hidden, we see in plain sight. When we wish not to be seen to hide. When we allow the vary evil to see us to rationalize, but it too is consumed by the greed to remain to see anyone as trying to take its possessions away. When what they can't see, they see and know all to well when evil is everywhere to see. When we see we only have one shot when things awaken and are out for us, to see to it that our aim is true. When what we see as trouble we put a stop to. When what we don't see, but what others reveal to us we don't see past our own desires that steer our past in peril to only suffer the same fate. When what we have others dont see, when it's the answer we need to save those. When we see we must stop those from reaching some places before it's too late to have their back. When what others with powers don't see, they destroy when it's darkness that they only see in others. When what we see, we can't let others suffer such fates to save them. When we must go unseen to avoid such dangers. When we don't see somethings being true when somethings are impossible when we are in different places to only see the vision of what consumes us in how much we would love for things we see to be true.

When what we can't see, but see it when it's too late that we feel and want to see more. When we see ourselves get greedier it consumes us that we want more of. Whether we don't see our greed for more power, more wealth, more honour, more possessions and a kingdom. When we should see greed in restoring peace and good to not see such things. When we don't see somethings happening to see that the end happens with a fight. When somethings we see they are there and others not there to have our backs. When we see some tasks are too much for one to handle alone.
March 26, 2017
B
It's just as structurally uneven as the first film, but the focus is tighter and Jackson's respectful direction is amiable.
March 26, 2017
More spectacular special effects, great scenes and an extraordinary cinematography obscured by unnecessary sequences, meaningless characters and a lengthening of history that only makes us think that Peter Jackson can not find the way to cover those 3 hours of film that must cover with a 300 page book for children.
March 15, 2017
The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, is a film based on the classic novel by J.R.R Tolkien. The movie features big name actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKlellan, and Martin Freeman. This movie features the company of Thorin Oakensheild continuing their quest to reclaim their homeland under the lonely mountain. During this book the company journeys to great lengths, constantly hunted by orcs. The company is faced with many challenges including crossing through Mirkwood, a dark dreary forest that drives one mad. While there, they encounter problems through the rest of the journey to the long lake. The editing, costume design and acting is exceptional in this film, except for some parts coming off a bit dry. For example, some of the dwarves seem almost bipolar sometimes.The soundtrack of the movie also is great, it brings scenes together. Just like in Tolkien's book, there are also songs included and sung by the actors in the movie. Overall this movie was thoroughly interesting, draws you into the relationships of the characters. It may be 2 hours and 30 minutes long, but it feels as if you are watching an hour and a half long movie.Overall, I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for an action filled, well scripted film that will grab their attention and get them involved with the plot.
March 15, 2017
In the beginning of the film we see a flashback with Thorin and Gandalf, clarifying the spark of the journey. This would've been a good scene in the first movie, but I appreciate it all the same. To me, the action seemed to be lacking in the previous movie in the trilogy, then it was all squashed into its sequel and the middle movie,The Desolation of Smaug. While there was more action, it lacked plot. The original meaning of the movie seemed to be an after thought. Sure we still see Bilbo transform into the hero in our story, but it lacks reason as it is all compressed into a few battle scenes in a single movie. Another thing Jackson (director) seemed to rush is the bond formed between Bilbo and the ring. Bilbo's obsession with the ring is supposed to grow throughout movie visibly, but we only see him use it during battle. Otherwise, I found the second movie relatively enjoyable, or at least an improvement from the first.
½ March 10, 2017
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Review:

Second installment in the Hobbit trilogy continues from the first. New characters and learning things about old characters. Nice cliffhanger to look forward to the final film.
½ March 4, 2017
'The Desolation of Smaug' is exciting and visually amazing, but the second chapter of the Hobbit-trilogy could be better.
February 26, 2017
The Desolation of Smaug succeeds on almost all levels: The acting, the characters, the special effects, the epic action, the menacing villain and the final act are all epic and well-handled. However, it crumbles on a narrative scale: the story is very weak and suffers because it has no real beginning or end.
February 24, 2017
Tolkien writes a classic, Peter Jackson thinks more is better...... only it isn't.
February 24, 2017
Loved it but it was very loooooooonng! Emma 10/10. Lucy 8/10.
February 18, 2017
No words - please speak to Billy
January 31, 2017
Again, it appetizes your craving for Middle Earth. Fun but is more gruesome than before.
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2017
In my original review of the first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, I concluded by saying that we couldn't entirely judge it without the context of its subsequent sequels. I spent a lot of my review (both versions of it) addressing audience expectations of the film rather than reviewing the film itself, at least not as directly as perhaps I would normally. As I explained, this was necessary in dealing with a lot of the baggage that
comes with comparisons with The Lord of the Rings, which the film inevitably invites.

With The Desolation of Smaug (Desolation hereafter), we are now able to get a more accurate picture of the artistic and narrative intentions of the trilogy. The sequel to An Unexpected Journey does bring a number of improvements to the table, teasing out a little more subtext from the novel and solving some of the tonal problems. But it's still encumbered by the same narrative flaws of the first film, which the higher stakes unfortunately amplify.

On the good side, the film seems tonally a lot more sure of itself. One of the big problems with An Unexpected Journey was its flipping back and forth between the light-hearted frolics of The Hobbit itself and the darker, more serious matter gleaned from the Lord of the Rings appendices. Here, there is the underlying feeling of a gathering darkness, reflected in both the journey of the dwarfs and Gandalf's investigations of the Necromancer. The success of this latter section could also be used to justify Jackson's decision to draw on the appendices - but we shall come to that a little later.

Through the darkening tone, the film illuminates the underlying theme of greed, which all the major characters come to embody. Bilbo's growing greed towards possession of the ring is matched by the Master's corrupt political hold on Laketown, Thorin's obsession with reclaiming Erebor, Smaug's proud hold over the dwarves' riches, and the Necromancer's business in Dol Goldur. The Middle Earth in Desolation is being gradually destroyed by self-interest in increasingly ruthless forms: its stories are driven and dominated by people who will do whatever they have to, by whatever means necessary, to obtain, increase or avoid losing what they covet.

There is a political point in all of this too, illustrated by the position of the Mirkwood elves. The aloof isolationism practised by their leader Thranduil is contrasted by Tauriel's compulsion to intervene in other peoples' wars. The community is faced with a stark political choice: either they shut themselves in from the growing evil and hope to withstand it, or they actively fight against it to safeguard an unknown future.

The Lord of the Rings is often cited or described as an allegory for World War II, something which I explored in my reviews. While Tolkien did not intend for such conclusions to be drawn, there are parallels and through-lines throughout the work - for instance, regarding the two towers of Orthanc and Barad-Dr as the twin mights of Germany and Russia, waging war on peaceful people from two sides. If we accept this logic, it is possible to view Desolation as a partial allegory for World War I; the events take place many years before Lord of the Rings, and the Mirkwood elves' isolationism and detachment from the world around them is akin to similar practices by the USA.

In addition to there being more subext, Desolation also benefits from better pacing. The first film badly dragged in a way that The Fellowship of the Ring didn't, possibly because it took a long time to adjust to Jackson's approach with weaving in the extra material. This film, by contrast, starts off very briskly and keeps the pace up all the way through. Even though it's still much too long, we aren't quite so conscious of it this time around.

As with the first film, the set-pieces in Desolation are generally very good. They do have more of a video game sensibility than their Lord of the Rings counterparts, being shot more from a first-person stance and with more unusual camera angles. But Jackson still has a knack for creating interesting character pains and deaths, something in which he has excelled since the days of Bad Taste and Brain Dead. The barrel sequence is especially fun, particularly Bombur's antics of rolling between the banks of the river while taking out a multitude of orcs.

One of the big tests of Desolation was going to be the introduction of its title character. This could have been very disappointing: notwithstanding the silliness of the Rankin Bass version, the darkness of the Lonely Mountain could have deprived us of his beauty, just as many (wrongly) held that Baz Luhrmann's editing in Moulin Rouge! deprived us of seeing the spectacular sets. But Jackson does a very good job, aided by Benedict Cumberbatch's sinister performance and wonderful delivery.

While Smaug himself may be stupendous, many of the other effects are not. Too many of the wide shots and battle sequences are obviously green-screen, in that they consist of actors running around somewhat aimlessly, looking for their marks. It's hard to say whether the increased use of green-screen was a creative decision on Jackson's part or a studio mandate to keep down the already huge budget. Either way, these scenes lack the physicality of the battles in Lord of the Rings, and the molten gold is so fake-looking that you wonder whether George Lucas has snuck onto the set.

Another big problem with Desolation is that the romance elements don't work. Tolkien reportedly tried towards the end of his life to rewrite key parts of his books to make the female characters more active. While the filmmakers can therefore claim to be enacting his wishes, Tauriel as a character is poorly written. Notwithstanding her political symbolism, she comes across as a Mary Sue whose dialogue often resembles fan fiction. Her relationship with Kili doesn't go anywhere, nor does it successfully convey the message about the need for closer ties between the races.

Criticisms like this all point to an underlying question: would it have been better to just give us The Hobbit, on its own with none of the appendices, and let it be a lesser film? The Hobbit is by its very nature a weaker story than Lord of the Rings, and trying to make it closer to the latter by filling in gaps is good for fans but not so good for storytelling. Perhaps it would have been better to do as was originally envisioned by Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, namely to create a very different universe in one film and then bridge that universe with that of Lord of the Rings in another.

This point is further illustrated by the ending, which is very unsatisfying. The final climax itself is a little too long, but the film fails where The Two Towers succeeded in having an end-point of tension and catharsis. Frodo and Sam's journey had reached a point where the trials they had survived were balanced by the scale of what was still facing them, enabling the film to stand on its own. Here, the ending feels altogether arbitrary, as though Jackson had cut where Del Toro would have cut but hadn't rewritten the script around it.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a heavily flawed second instalment of a trilogy which is a shadow of its predecessor. There's still a great deal of fun to be had watching it, and it contains many improvements which should be celebrated. But all these improvements are ultimately balanced out or overshadowed by equally big flaws. One only hopes that The Battle of the Five Armes will give us the kind of ending that we deserve.
½ January 23, 2017
Terrible movie is a step down from AUJ, and confirms our suspicion that PJ's Hobbit will be awful.
January 22, 2017
As ever with Tolkien adaptations, I have no clue what's going on and why it's going on. But it is full of intriguing environments and it's more entertaining than the first one. Decent enough.
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