Trailer Reaction – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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I think my twitter reaction pretty much sums up my feelings towards the new Hobbit trailer…

[tweet 385039398384857088 align=’center’]

LOL

But seriously – December 13th can’t come soon enough.  I have read The Hobbit and without spoiling it, but seeing my favourite parts of the book visualised for the film has made me crazy excited.  I loved the first film and I think the criticisms are a little unfair and have been done to death.  It’s time for everyone to let go of the “why is it three films?”, “why are the films are so long?” or “48fps looks like someone on fast forward” etc.  Everyone has to remember that tonally, The Hobbit is different from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  The Hobbit is essentially a children’s book in which Peter Jackson and co. have added depth, inserting crucial materials from the appendices.  Judging from the original reaction (before An Unexpected Journey came out), you would think that Jar Jar Binks was going to be inserted into EVERY single frame of the film.  Calm down – THIS IS NOT THE PHANTOM MENACE!

It’s not to say that The Hobbit is not as epic as LOTR but Jackson has overcome the hardest part with An Unexpected Journey which is reintroducing Bilbo (knowing that we already know his fate and outcome from LOTR), introducing the dwarfs (which is also difficult in the book) and giving the dwarfs more of a substantial purpose than just getting their lost treasure back just like in the book.  I was lucky enough to see An Unexpected Journey in 48fps and while it did take a while to get use to, I thought it was one of the best 3D experiences I’ve had at the cinema.  It was simply beautiful and much better than seeing Avatar in 3D.

If there are any doubters, then what The Desolation of Smaug trailer has managed to do is ramp up the action.  Just like in the book, the stakes are raised and things that were teased in An Unexpected Journey are now coming to fruition. This section of the tale deals with the elves led by Lee Pace as Thrandull, Bard (Luke Evans) and the spiders of Mirkwood.  It is also where Bilbo becomes a total badass!

Bilbo: “I found something in the goblin tunnels.”

Gandalf: “What did you find?”

Bilbo: “My courage.”

Gandalf: “Good…you’ll need it!”

Bilbo (just like Frodo in LOTR) grows into a hero with the help of the One Ring.  While the book doesn’t dwell on the ring’s true power and will, I wonder whether Jackson will begin to add those hints.  The trailer gives us glimpses of Gandalf on his own adventure away from the Dwarfs (because he disappears halfway through the book) and Sauron’s eye.  And was that a sneaky peak of the looming battle of the five armies?  I hope so because war is coming.  Thorin (Richard Armitage) continues to have doubts about Bilbo despite Bilbo saving his life in the last movie and there will be plenty of reasons to justify for that.  Hopefully The Desolation of Smaug will jump straight into the story just like The Two Towers (a film I love more than anyone should admit to!)

We see more glimpses of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and a brand new character Tauriel played by Evangeline Lily (Kate from Lost).  While her character does not appear in the book (along with any female characters), I look forward to seeing what she can do and the dynamic she has with Legolas.  The trailer hints at a possible relationship.

And hands up if you almost had a heart attack hearing Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice for Smaug?  Obviously I can’t see you but I have to assume there are many of you!  Seriously I have so much love and respect for Cumberbatch.  He was easily the best thing in Star Trek into Darkness and his voice is just perfect for Smaug.  When I read The Hobbit a couple of years ago, that voice is how I imagined Smaug would talk.  Smaug is smart and his voice is sinister and yet curious because of Bilbo’s presence.  You could say Cumberbatch already nails it.  If you read/loved “Riddles in the Dark” then Smaug’s encounter with Bilbo will be equally as good.

Hopefully there will be an opportunity for the film to give a chance for the Dwarfs to develop.  An Unexpected Journey easily establishes Thorin, Dwalin, Balin and Kili and Fili.  However, there are thirteen dwarfs in total so hopefully the rest will get bigger screen time.  Even though Gollum is not featured (in the trailer or in this part of the story), could Jackson throw in a few surprises and continue with his adventure?  Guess we will have to wait and see.

The trailer really surprised me.  I knew what was coming up in terms of story but epic was the first word that sprung to mind.  It’s that good.  If there is one thing I admire about Peter Jackson when it comes to Tolkien’s epic story is that he takes great amount of time and care.  Tolkien’s books are not easy to read and yet he is crafting movies out of it!  He has done exceptionally well.  While it is easy to come out and say, “The Hobbit shouldn’t be three movies”, what Jackson is doing is trying to tell a complete adventure of the One Ring.  Let’s be honest, after The Hobbit is done we may never get an opportunity to see Tolkien’s work on the big screen like this again.  Releasing the films at Christmas is also a bonus where your mind can easily lose itself into a fantasy story.

If Jackson gets this right (and I’m hopeful of this), The Desolation of Smaug will be a winner.

Author: Kelechi Ehenulo

Creator and writer of Confessions From A Geek Mind. Loves sci-fi and LEGO - couldn't ask for a better combo!

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