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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 
The sequel strikes back.
3/4 stars

I must apologize for my brief review that I rather substituted with a rant… I should really think about what I watched before I post a negative review.

Yes, after giving it more thought and time, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is not bad. In fact, it is quite enjoyable, and an improvement over its still unnecessary predecessor.
What makes this one different is that it is actually interesting. See, my problem with the first Hobbit film was, that it felt like a very long, very uninteresting episode of Game of Thrones, rehashing elements of Lord of the Rings. In Desolation, at least some of the excitement is back.

I especially enjoyed the scenes involving Luke Evans and management of all the dwarves. Another great improvement: The dwarves actually do something in this movie.
For a film that is three hours long, and half of the screenplay is made up for the plot, I must say that it handles its length well.
In this one, scenes are more organized. We get our fair share of exposition, as well as battles and conflict, precisely timed this time around, which was always welcome to see.

Peter Jackson, while allowing himself extremely generous liberties, does deliver some great camerawork and I've gotten used to the stupid 48fps by now (face it, we can't change it).
Great wide-angle shots, great close-ups, great action scenes, great direction in general.

I do think parts of the screenplay could have been adjusted and worked on more, though. Especially the Orcs and Legolas and his pathetic Elf padawan.
The Orcs looked like they were made out of Play-Doh and would melt in the sun, plus, they didn't exactly do anything except for offer more tension during the action sequences.
Legolas and 'that woman' show up from time to time to remedy a situation with the help of… awesomeness. There's just no other way to describe it, they show up, they blink, everyone is dead and they leave. It is entertaining to watch, but doesn't leave a lot to logic.

I am also extremely disappointed that we didn't see too much of Gandalf. His screen time is limited to something around five minutes of wandering around and then disappearing.

Again, I must apologize for my previous rant. I was tired after coming home from the preview screening and pretty much lashed out at a film that I did not realize was actually handling its plot and issues in a much more fashionable manner than the last one.
If you let this film take its time to develop an actually suitable premise, it will grow on you and offer a jaw-dropping finale, as well as a possible chill down your spine in the last shot.


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