03 January 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013 - ★★

This is the boring, overlong, CGI heavy mess I was expecting to see when I was pleasantly surprised by the first film. Almost nothing happens for the full duration of the far far far too long running time. Most of the action set pieces are more boring than those in Man Of Steel which I didn't think was possible. The dialogue is embarrassingly clunky or overly expositional and what's with the elves talking to each other in English (middle-earthish?) when no other species is around. I'm fairly sure most of the scenes featuring Elves or Orcs could be cut altogether without having any impact on the rest of the film. Although then we would lose the most unintentionally funny line where the Orcs refer to Evangeline Lilly as She-elf.

Once Smaug turns up things do improve but due to the time draining nature of the rest of the film I have no idea if those scenes lasted 10 minutes or an hour - either way it's hard to justify having to sit through the rest of the film to get to them.

I'm trying to think of something positive to say but I'm really struggling. I still find HDR an interesting curiosity so the film wasn't a complete waste of time. Hopefully it will be put to more use someday (National Theatre Live broadcasts?), when it works it's really good but there are still issues with any fast pans.

January 03, 2014 at 05:37PM

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