The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Tolkien

hobbit_desolation_of_smaug_posterOKLAHOMA CITY — Okay so Peter Jackson made The Hobbit 2 blah blah blah it’s a movie blah blah a HUGE sequel blah blah blah blah. I give it a solid 6/10. Should you go see it? Sure. Just because I feel it’s another example of why 2013 was the weakest year of movies in the last decade, that doesn’t mean you won’t like it. You should always judge movies for yourself in my opinion.

But then again, you might be reading this because you don’t want to blow $50 (for two people) on every movie that comes out. Maybe you have a rad TV and you want to know if you should pony up the cash to get to theaters or just wait and get it at Redbox.

If you want an honest assessment, here’s what I think – this movie can just as easily be enjoyed at home as in theaters, and I think it isn’t worth paying a premium unless you just really love going to the theater.

Wait a second….

ElfGuardsOfMirkwood-a00-007EB

Cool!

I just realized that I waited so late to write this review that the film might not even be in theaters anymore. In which case, everything I just wrote is moot. Whatever.

By the way, what is the opposite of moot? Non-moot? I’m going to look this up. Let’s see, Googling “antonyms for moot”

….

Apparently, moot means something along the lines of “uncertain” or “unsettled”. Which works – if The Hobbit 2 is no longer in theaters, then everything I wrote about not seeing it in theaters would be “uncertain” and “unsettled” since one couldn’t go judge for oneself. Thank goodness the word worked, or else I would have had to change it and everything I’m writing would be moot. So let’s get back to the antonyms. It looks like anti-moot words would include such banal examples as “sure”, “certain” and “settled”. Those are lame. I know – I’ll look up synonyms for “certain” and see what I find.

….

Ahhhhhh – much better. “Sanguine”, “cocksure”…..if one had the opportunity to watch The Hobbit 2 in theaters, one could be sanguine regarding whether or not it was worth $50 (for two people).  I hope you appreciate my sedulous vocabulary.

LakeTown

Lake-Town looks awesome.

Anyway, so here are three things I liked about The Hobbit 2:

  1. The set design/cinematography – the elven kingdom of Mirkwood, the shots of the dwarves/hobbit/wizard traveling from Beorn’s house to Mirkwood, the amazing sets of Lake Town….all of those things are amazing. Actually, visually speaking, the film is incredible. I actually think it equals (or possibly surpasses) anything PJ did with LotR. If you want a reason to see this in theaters, this is it.
  2. Silmarillion stuff – I love seeing what Gandalf is up to when he breaks company from the others. Since that stuff isn’t in the book, it’s pretty cool to see it come to life on screen.
  3. There’s a new season of Sherlock!!! – It’s cool to have the main players of Sherlock together in H2; they both do a great job. And furthermore, it’s great to think of season 3 of Sherlock happening in ONE WEEK!!!!
benedict_and_martin_wallpaper_by_peacerevolution22-d4ksxsa

Bilbo and Smaug share a “precious” photo moment.

And here are three things that make me give H2 a 6/10:

  1. Weak music – several times I noticed the music sounded unusually thin. Like, it lacked substance. I don’t mean to say that every moment has to be dominated by an heroic theme, but after hearing the majesty of LotR and hearing the ubiquitous H1 Dwarf theme, H2’s music is a letdown. (The Dwarf theme isn’t heard ONCE.) Furthermore, it sounded as though PJ was using stock incidental music in some scenes. Maybe that seems like a small gripe, but stock music has nowhere near the punch of a score made especially for the occasion.
  2. I mean seriously.

    I mean seriously.

    Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili – What the heck. Okay, so firstly, Tauriel doesn’t exist anywhere in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, or any other work of Tolkien. One might ask, so what? Does she ruin the movie? I suppose not. But she’s implemented in an extra-Hobbit love triangle that is awful and does hurt the movie. Namely, she has this thing going on with Legolas (He is also not in the book, but he’s acknowledged in LotR as being from the Woodland Realm, so it works. At least he’s a Tolkien creation….), and then out of nowhere, she develops a thing for Kili. What???

    Tauriel sure looks the part.

    Tauriel sure looks the part.

    This leads to an exchange between Tauriel and Kili that includes a blatant sexual innuendo and one of the low moments of the script. I’m pretty sure Tolkien would never have written an exchange between a male and female character in which the two discuss what the male character might or might not have down his pants. I know it might seem prudish for me to make a big deal of this, but it just isn’t in keeping with the story or even the tone of the story. And furthermore, it isn’t necessary. PJ’s Hobbit project is full of unnecessary material, and I am okay with much of it. But this just seemed like a bridge too far.

  3. Cheesiness/pacing – In the name of brevity I’ve combined two gripes into the last section. What do I mean by cheesiness? The barrels and everything with the gold/furnaces. For realz, those sequences are utterly ridiculous. Did I laugh? Barrels, yes. Gold, facepalm. Were they completely dumb? Sure. Could they have been truncated to allow for Bombur’s sleep? Absolutely. Alas.
    Grima...Wormtongue??

    Grima…Wormtongue??

    What do I mean by pacing? Gandalf’s conversation with Bilbo about how much he’s changed. That moment felt as thought it were too early and as a result slightly off-kilter. Just one example of poor pacing. Actually, that’s the only example of poor pacing I can think of, but it really stood out like the fly in the ointment.

In the end, I think The Hobbit 2 is kinda lame. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Though I give it a 6/10, I think everyone should watch it and judge for themselves. Perhaps one less familiar with the book might like it much more than I, and I would hate to dissuade people based on my preferences. See it, but it isn’t necessarily a $50 (for two people) type of film.

Lego Rivendell. Awesome.

Lego Rivendell. Awesome.

Grant Stevens is the author of over fifty articles and over 1,000 Facebook posts. He is certain to win a Pulitzer for at least one of those bodies of work. BTW – if you are with the Pulitzer prize committee, I – err, I mean Grant spells his last name with a V, not PH. Grant is also active in the Oklahoma City music scene. Check out his music here.

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