New to OnDemand is The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson’s second of a three film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit.” I had a chance to see this in theaters this past winter, but if you missed it, now’s your chance to catch it at home.
This is a very exciting middle chapter of the three movies, bridges the gap between An Unexpected Journey, and The Battle of Five Armies which will release December of this year. The Desolation of Smaug begins with the dwarves and Bilbo Baggins in quest to reclaim the once dawrf kingdom home of Erebor.
Plenty of excitement to be seen when the dwarves take shelter in Laketown, a human city where they are constantly being tailed. Also many tense moments when Bilbo must slip through a secret door into Erebor where he awakes the sleeping dragon Smaug. The movie ends with Smaug leaving the dwarves in Erebor and flying off toward Laketown, the residents in which the dwarves promised riches when they took back their home, and surely means we are in for a climatic end to this trilogy.
My biggest complaint about this movie is that much of the action is made up or exaggerated from what is was in the book and is heavily created with CGI. I think in small doses CGI is a great tool but when entire scenes are computer animated it becomes very apparent and takes away from the film. There is one scene when the band of dwarves escape the elves by riding in barrels down a river. While this happens they are simultaneously fighting off the elves and orcs from their barrels in a ridiculous and completely unbelievable fight scene. At one point the heavy set dwarf “Bombor” is thrown from the river, still in his barrel, and begins knocking down every orc in his path, launching from one side of the river to the other, never losing momentum. When he comes to a stop on shore, he pops his arms out the side of the barrel and with a knife in each hand pulls of this spin move that kills at least six orcs, before he jumps back in the water completely unharmed.
If you are a big fan of Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings, as I am, you should check this movie out, because even with it’s flaws it is still fun to see the story that preceded it. If you’re not a big fan, then I wouldn’t go out of your way for this one. And if you haven’t seen the first hobbit movie or The Lord of the Rings, then this is no place to start. Go watch those first before you go anywhere near this movie.