Thursday, December 11, 2014

Film Review: Desolation of Smaug

I think the movie--and the series in general, so far--is much better than it is given credit for.  Jackson didn’t take as many liberties as one would have expected.  Below will be observations, pros, and cons:


They did a great job with King Thranduil (Lee Pace).  They captured his amorality perfectly.  I thought the quasi-romance between Tauriel and Kili was well-done.  I understand why purists are upset, but I don’t see what was lost.   For those who are upset at Gandalf’s actions at the end of the movie, I would remind you that Gandalf himself mentions he “knew the dungeons of Dol Goldur” in Fellowship of the Ring.  

Is Thranduil a Reformed amillennialist?  It appears so.  Let the world rot as long as we are okay in our little confines. Similarly, Thorin is the archetypal Fox News Conservative:  technically on the right side but completely without principles.


  • Like all of Jackson’s productions, the cinematography was perfect.
  • The “Barrel Ride” may be the finest 15 minutes ever put on film.
  • I have no problem with Jackson’s including Legolas.  He appears more masculine than in the original trilogy.
  • The Smaug section was way over-embellished, but certainly enjoyable.
  • Tauriel was perfectly cast, all purists aside.
  • The scene between Throrin and Thranduil: the dwarven language is like German:  perfect for swearing.


  • I don’t think anything was added by including Radagast (esp. in the first film).  In fact, I thought the book’s allusions to Radagast, but never his appearance, is what made R. so interesting.
  • The cliffhanger ending (even for those who know the story) is annoying.  

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