Late last night I and a friend from high school made the decision to catch what we thought was an early showing of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
However, the 8:30 3D showing that we’d decided to see was actually a marathon of the two films. Now, we had bought our tickets thinking that it was an 8:30 showing of the second film and Fandango did not emphasize that the tickets we’d bought were for a marathon, so this was a very unwelcome surprise. Since each of us had work early in the morning we were not thrilled, but decided that we’d stick it out and watch both films.
The first film began and we were in a theater filled with maybe 12 other people and all of us realized quite quickly that the 3D glasses we’d been given did not work with the film we were seeing. Frustrated we left the theater got new glasses and were able to see the film.
It ended at 11 and we waited for the next one to start, only to have a projectionist come out and tell us that the film wasn’t working and we’d have to leave for another theater to watch it starting at 12:01. At this point no one was very happy, my friend and I agreed that if there were no good seats we’d just go home.
So we came to the theater found good seats and waited 20 minutes for the film to start. It started and after sitting through 20 more minutes of previews we finally started watching the second film.
The 3D glasses we had were again: NOT WORKING!
I was fed up at this point and hurried out to find someone who worked in the theater to fix this. I came back and shortly after that the film started to run smoothly in glorious 3D.
After all that effort was the film worth it?
Yes, yes it was.
This is my personal opinion as someone who has NOT read the books, so if you have and don’t like these films I apologize. I did not like “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” I didn’t hate it but I felt it lacked substance.
Thankfully this film fixes all those problems–there’s tons of action, political intrigue, great performances, and magnificent special effects.
I won’t spoil anything because I think you should see this movie but I will say one thing: Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the dragon Smaug is absolutely perfect. He’s funny, smart and completely terrifying. The special effects team does an absolutely incredible job of making it feel like Smaug the dragon is as massive as the Empire State building. And you’re just as terrified of him as Bilbo and the other dwarves.
Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins has truly grown a lot since the last film and he has one of his best moments after battling a giant spider. Though I’ll say there were times where I wished the film focused more on him and less on the scenery of New Zealand. We get it Peter, the movie was filmed in New Zealand! All of the dwarves deliver their performances well, and Ian McKellen was as always great as Gandalf the Grey,
The biggest surprise happened when the film goes to a place called Laketown. There isn’t much to Laketown, but I had to turn to my friend and grab her arm when I saw something I’ve never seen in the Lord of the Rings franchise before:
A BLACK PERSON!
Yes there were 3 different black women in Laketown. I couldn’t believe it. There were never been black Hobbits, Elves, Wizards or men in the original trilogy but clear as day there were 3 black women and not fair skinned either! And there was an Asian person in Laketown too! The characters don’t do anything aside from cheer while one of the dwarfs gives a speech about helping their town return to its former glory, but they’re there and I think that counts for something. Apparently it’s the only place in Middle Earth where other races exist.
Aside from that the film is solid, but the end of the film is a cliffhanger. It’s a very good cliffhanger that makes you want to buy a ticket for the next film right away, but still a cliffhanger, so if you don’t like that this might not be the film for you. That and some slow pacing are the biggest issues I had with the film, but I have to say I haven’t had that much fun in a theater since “Pacific Rim” and I hope you’ll all get a chance to see it.
Provided that you’re 3D glasses work.
Here’s the trailer!