The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

4 Squirrels

I think, hands down, that THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is the most inventive of Peter Jackson’s films yet. To see this movie, I must go back to the simple criteria that, if you are ok with seeing a movie with elves and swords, with dragons and dwarfs, this won’t let you down. But don’t get me wrong – this is a 3-hour chase movie, following heavily wigged characters through what looks like an overblown playground. The main sort of tension is not really dramatic, more like, “How will they not get killed?” But we all know this is so because there’s another movie and another couple hundred-mill riding on the third and final (?) Hobbit installment. [Sidebar – I bet they could draw this out and add another trilogy of movies]

I will say, though, that the last days of serious Peter Jackson are upon us. Especially considering the new TinTin1 movies he’s going to get wrapped up in. Of course there are some scenes that frightened me – particularly a really creepy monologue of sorts by Smaug le dragon, voiced by the everywhere-Benedict Cumberbatch. But for the most part, this is the light side of The Ring saga, and it’s a goddam blast. If you’re a snob, stay home and rewatch Game of Thrones.

So, now that everyone understands this is PURE FUN, I would like to mention a few of the things that stood out to me:

1) Orlando Bloom reprises his role as Legolas, but there’s no amount of make-up that can prevent him from looking chubby-cheeked. Some say that this is intentional, but I say, “Lay off the biscuits.” What happened to this guy?

2) I guess this is more of a bone to pick with Tolkien but… it’s so cheap how Gandalf will have a secret rendezvous at the exact moment when the dwarves and Bilbo need him most.

3) The barrel scene hinted at in Peter Jackson’s video blogs was AMAZING. Every bit as fun and orc-killing-filled as I could have hoped for, and so much more; (just a figure of speech). Anyhow, play the game! I haven’t yet, because I didn’t have the plug-in on my work computer, and because I know I’d enter a rabbit hole that surfaces as being fired.

And finally…

4) The scenes with Smaug were a bit long, so if you find yourself in need of a trip to the loo or needing a refill of from the concession stand, go then.


  1. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN was, IMVFHO2, a 4.1 banjo-playing-squirrel film.
  2. The “V” stands for very. You figure it out.