I finally watched Desolation of Smaug
It only took 10 minutes for this to be better than the first Hobbit
. I mean, the first one was just a video game. Bilbo would just wander around looking for items to equip, talk to all the dwarves and just bs. Then Gandalf would explain the next level or side mission, and your little dwarf homies would run through to the checkpoint. Rinse, repeat. Outside of the Gollum scene, I don't think I'd ever want to watch the first 1 again. There's maybe 45 minutes of good movie in that 3 hr thing.
But this wasted no time. It got into the action and story immediately. You actually knew who the bad guys were, and felt like every scene mattered towards getting to the end. I knew it was off on a good foot, cuz when they started getting confused the Mirkwood forest.
**** was comedy. (why did they all sound like Gollum though?
My biggest issue in the first film was that all these dwarves were so interchangeable and pointless. They were annoying and stupid in the first one, cuz the movie had no point and no direction. They weren't going anywhere especially important, or doing anything especially necessary, but had to stop every 5 minutes to try and be funny.
But now I love em. All their little antics. The dwarf staircase to the weapons. The toilet. All of that.
Here, they have real **** they're trying to get done. They just happen to have their own quirky little badass ways of doing them.
They have real, distinct personalities now. And the movie doesn't waste time with them. It shows their personalities during the action. And Thorin was so blah to me before, but he turned into a mini-Leonidas on this one. Radagast is still my dude. And I ain't even mad at the dwarf that looks like they forgot his dwarf makeup.
But um...the barrel chase...
I don't even care that random YT footage was cut in. That was so good. So good. Better than anything in the first movie.
And the elves...Tauriel was so good...and honestly so necessary. Since I knew they made her up, I just tried imagining the story without her, and it'd be so emotionally hollow for so much of it. No wonder they put her in. And Legolas was half badass, half unintentional comic relief.
Why does Orlando Bloom look like a vampire now? And when he hits that forever alone/Sting in the rafters, I knew he was gonna be good.
At one point he did everything short of saying 'nobody makes me bleed my own blood.' I mean, he has a lot of signature action scenes, but there's a fight in this that's probably the most un-fantastically savage fight they've had in these? It was just cool. And Lee Pace's real face was cool too.
There's just really good moments all around. Laketown was well done, and kinda showed me how much I missed humans being in this story. Sauron, the unholy ghost was ******* awesome. Smaug was ******* awesome. Gandalf did somethings. The fights were awesome. Everything felt connected. There weren't stupid scenes overextended because they need to pass the time. They didn't have little callbacks to the originals that felt out of place, or there just to be there. Everything branched out and meant something to the story right in front of you, and to what you knew was coming later.
It was so good, I had to find the song at the end. So good, when it was done, my first reaction was...I could watch the whole thing all over again right now. I know it's sacrilege, but it's kinda right there with the originals imo. It's not as deep or layered. There aren't the great performances or the 'damn...we just got Shakespeare from a fantasy film' moments. Nah...it's more like the Curse of the Black Pearl
version of Middle Earth mixed with Deathly Hallows
. And there aren't the great characters...everyone's kinda just a different level of 'oh, hey it's that one.' But it's just fun and well done and easy to watch, like I expected these to be.
I'd almost recommend people skip all of the first 1 except the scene with Bilbo and Gollum. They'd be fine. And anything they don't quite understand, they'd probably just fall asleep through the explanation anyways. The first one is a good way to turn people off from ever watching the 2nd one.
Now, I've never read the book. And it felt like response for the movie was Man of Steel
-ish. That...it's better than what we got before, but nah. But I think that was a mix of people, like me, who didn't like the first one and were over the whole prequel idea...and then people who were mad that Jackson stretched 7 pages into 3 hours/just want it to be over with already....LOTR
fans who are stuck in "not as good as the OGs" mode...and diehards who hated the changes and the fact that their fun little book was a 10-hr serious epic now. And I could understand people not really caring for Bilbo or Thorin, cuz I mean...I don't really, but I still really enjoyed it. 8.5/10
And Laketown...I saw two black people and a hispanic person. It's a New Middle Earth Order.