I watched this movie in 3D IMAX. This was my first mistake. I paid extra for “features” I didn’t want to begin with. I was forced to wear uncomfortable glasses that chafed the back side of my ears, because if I tried to take the glasses off, the screen took on a psychedelic, hallucinogenic property that made my head spin, and my stomach retch…and definitely not in a good way.
The other part of the IMAX experience that upset me was the people. There were crowds of people at this movie, all with an entitled attitude. Long before the movie started, we were sitting in the auditorium with no previews, no music, nothing. We were simply sitting there staring at a blank screen waiting for the movie to start. I was talking with a friend that had come with me, and one of these entitled strangers actually shushed me! Can you believe that! No movie, no reason to be quiet, and this entitled prick had the audacity to shush me!
Let’s move on to the actual movie. I don’t remember Legolas in the Hobbit. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was not in the book at all. I’m also pretty sure that there was never any epic orc battle along the river while Bilbo and the dwarves were escaping in the barrels. That being said, watching Legolas traverse dwarf heads to slaughter orcs was awesome, and that dwarf barrel roll was more than epic.
There is a difference between filler for entertainment value, and just plain idiotic filler. Bathing Smaug in melted gold from a giant dwarf statue, is stupid, idiotic, and had no business in the movie. It never happened in the book, and it served no purpose at all. Smaug was already pissed, and ready to reign fire and vengeance down upon Laketown. The fact that Bilbo had shown affection toward the town had ensured its destruction in Smaug’s eyes. That gold thing was stupid, and unnecessary.
The other thing that irritated me to no end throughout this movie was the mispronunciation of the dragon’s name. Smaug should rhyme with fog, or smog, not cloud. It really isn’t rocket science.
The name of the movie is a bit irritating, too. The movie is called, “The Desolation of Smaug,” but do we get to see Smaug being desolated? No, of course not! Do we get to see Smaug desolating anyone else? No, of course not! All we get to see is a dragon traipsing around his own lair. Big whoop!
Another issue I had was how they approached Bilbo’s interaction with Smaug. In the book, Bilbo never removed the ring. He remained cloaked the entire time, and there was an element of taunting–of baiting, throughout the interaction. That intellectual interaction was completely lost in this movie. Bilbo’s ability to use his wits to evade the dragon wasn’t even there. To me, that loss brought the entire IQ of the movie down several points. Without that intellectual discourse, this movie is nothing but a typical smash ’em and bash ’em fantasy movie.
In the end, if you want some fun fight scenes, and a good time, this is a decent movie. If you want an accurate depiction of Tolkien’s story, you’ve come to the wrong place. This has twisted the original tale into something very, very different. Never trust Hollywood to tell a story the proper way…