#REVIEW: “THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG”
Review by: Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
J.R.R. Tolkien adored the myths of days gone by. This sublime affection led him to create a mythology all his own. The setting: Middle Earth, a diverse landscape filled with creatures of all kinds. The Players: Hobbits mostly, a curious race of wise-cracking gluttons capable of the most extraordinary things. From a hole in the ground one Hobbit in particular proved this point in excess. Bilbo Baggins began his unexpected and cinematic journey a year ago to date. Therein he gained a gaggle of dwarves, a demonic token… and of course, his courage.
This year however things have taken a turn towards desolation. Yes, desolation. The onset of excess grief caused as a result of exponential loss. The loss however takes some time to get to. An array of picturesque landscapes must first be crossed and action-packed trials endured. Bilbo and the Dwarves undergo a lot in the second chapter: Azog the Defiler remains relentless with his pursuit and there’s a shape-shifter in the woods. There are also giant spiders, stoic elves, and a treasure hoarding dragon. All of which are rendered beautifully by Peter Jackson and his creative team.
Like its predecessors the saga’s latest entry is as aesthetically pleasing as it is excellently adapted. Not only does it cover the narrative of The Hobbit, but also Gandalf’s adventures discussed in Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales. In addition there are a few extras. Legolas is added to the narrative, and suffice it to say the boy’s been missed. Orlando Bloom was born to play the Role, and he proves this point yet again. Another addition is Tauriel, a daughter of Mirkwood who is both a martial artist and charming matron. Evangeline Lilly fills her shoes well, so much so that her deuterocanonical presence should be welcomed with open arms.
In fact there’s so much to love in this film: the Cast, the CGI, and costuming, the Bard, the banter, and of course the barrel fight scene. The list goes on and on as the nearly three-hour long Movie is jam packed with memorable moments. Richard Armitage remains an impressive Thorin Oakenshield, as does Martin Freeman remain an admirable Bilbo Baggins. And of course there’s his Sherlock Co-star Benedict Cumberbatch. He acts as voice for the Title Dragon, Smaug. It is rare to see such an impressive Beast, even rarer to meet one with such vocal opinions. Suffice it to say there’s more than enough to keep audience members of all types enchanted by the magic of Middle-Earth.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada releases The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Friday, December 13, 2013.
Click here to see Star Evangline Lilly in her recent Toronto visit!