Today I’m reviewing the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug as a continuation of last week’s blog post.
I like the continuation of the set-up for The Lord of the Rings. It helps connect The Hobbit to the trilogy. I love the set for Mirkwood. It’s super disorienting, which is exactly the way it is in the book. It really brings the forest’s creepiness to life. I like that the movie gives each of the dwarves an individual talent or skill. This helps remedy one of the issues I have with the book. Another issue I have with the book is that the dwarves don’t face Smaug. In the movie, they have a plan for facing him, which is a step up.
My favorite scene in this movie is when Legolas is searching Gloin and finds the pictures of his wife and son. The irony when Legolas insults Gimli is great.
I don’t like the addition of Tauriel, especially the romance between her and Kili. Since she is the only main female character in the movie, it feels like she’s only there to be a love interest. It doesn’t matter how badass she is, she is there for Legolas and Kili to have love interests. The romance is insta-love, too, which makes it even worse. I also don’t like the addition of Kili getting poisoned because it unnecessarily drags out the story and provides more material for the love story. I also dislike how mean Thranduil is. He wasn’t a huge jerk in the book, and there’s no reason for him to be one in the movie.
All the added conflict at Lake-town seemed unnecessary as well. There’s enough tension without changing the dwarves’ welcome and adding all this personal conflict between Bard and the Master. I was plenty engaged reading the book, which doesn’t have all this extra conflict.
I also don’t like the addition of the Necromancer subplot because it takes so much screen time away from the main storyline.
I like how the movie remedies some of the issues I have with the book, but I dislike the added subplots. I think the producers needed more material to keep viewers interested across three movies, and the subplots were added to maintain the interest generated by the first movie.