|Do any hobbits wish to clog dance?|
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) 1 PUBIC HAIR
Dir. Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom
Review By Greg Klymkiw
I don't care how much money this or the other Hobbit movies make - suckers are born every minute - but I used to have something resembling admiration for Peter Jackson as a filmmaker. As if The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey wasn't bad enough, but part two of this dull, convoluted, interminable saga is beyond the pale. While it is thankfully bereft of the endless Hobbit clog dancing, mead guzzling and fiddle playing that permeated the first instalment of this folly, it now, sadly, has nothing going for it at all, save for dull roller coaster rides that we're forced to yawn our way through as there's little else to pay attention to.
Even worse, is that Jackson and his cohorts have gone out of their way to tamper with J.R.R. Tolkien's book in some unbelievably stupid ways. Now, let it be said, I have very little use for Tolkien, but "The Hobbit" was, at the very least, a relatively slender volume with an emphasis upon magic more than mayhem. However, this distended-stomach of a movie goes out of its way to concoct as many opportunities as possible to shoehorn in a ludicrous number of action and chase scenes to showcase the derring-do via the inexplicably ugly accelerated 48-frame-rate digital so that the usually crappy digital 3-D is even crappier.
Characters and events are concocted - not just for the aforementioned reasons - but to idiotically tie-in these new films with the Lord of the Rings trilogy so that watching all six back-to-back will yield a full epic a la the George Lucas Star Wars saga.
It's almost impossible to assess any aspect of this film properly since it, its predecessor and, no doubt, the final instalment have no real reason to exist in this idiotic form. Yes, the entire cast acquits themselves as best as one could hope for and there are design elements - mostly with the various monsters - that are in and of themselves kind of cool, but finally, all I can ask is, "For what?"
On a number of fronts, Jackson had already created a fine legacy for himself with virtually every film he's made, but so far, the woeful trilogy seems at best, little more than a cynically calculated cash grab and at worst, a pompous, misguided attempt to rewrite Tolkien so The Hobbit can flow more naturally into The Lord of the Rings. Chances are pretty good that if Tolkien had wanted to do so, he'd have bloody well done it.
What remains, finally, is little more than the image of a spluttering dunderhead jamming square pegs into round holes and getting millions of likeminded brain-bereft audiences to pay for it and cheer him on in the process.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is playing everywhere.