The Hobbit– The Desolation of Smaug

While the general tenor of the reviews of the first Hobbit movie was that there was disappointment, not with the new technology, but with the way the story was presented, especially the over-emphasis on running and chasing and fighting. It looked like Peter Jackson, in lieu of more substantive material, had simply elongated the fighting sequences, especially the one underground. We now have the official trailer for the second film, which deals with the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC Sherlock fame) and his ‘desolation’, but it is also about getting beyond that desolation. We must bear in mind that this is the second of three films, and so we cannot expect resolution or denouement from this film. What we would hope for is more character development, and frankly more focus on the Hobbit in question and his dwarf and elf friends and allies. More Gandalf would be good as well.

It must be borne in mind that because Jackson has filmed the Tolkien ouevre backwards, so to speak, doing LOTR first and then the Hobbit, that he made a strategic decision to film the Hobbit as an adult film like LOTR, even though, it was and is a children’s book about the battle between good and evil and how humans and halflings are caught up in the struggle. Thus, it is not a surprise that the Hobbit Part One had a much more adult feel to it than the novel, and it is rather sad that instead of adding lighter material like the story of Tom Bombadil, Jackson turned to the appendixes to LOTR to fill out the story and be able to bridge the gap between the Hobbit, and the later stories in LOTR. The jury is necessarily still out on how successful this ploy will be.

As with last year, this film will come out in time for the Christmas season— Dec. 13th, so we must abide our souls in patience and wait for it’s release. Because there was something of a sense of disappointment with the first Hobbit film, there seems to be less fervor in the anticipation for the second one. We shall see.

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