Friday, December 13, 2013


4 stars

Mini Review:

It doesn’t matter if you have seen the first movie of this trilogy or not. You will be swept away by this a thrill-a-minute action and will be craving for more. When the dragon awakens, take cover!

Main Review:

Part one of the Hobbit trilogy was fun, but it was so long ago, and you only remember bits… How Gandalf invites boisterous dwarves to Bilbo’s home and then forces him to join them in a quest.
You remember going on a wild ride to Radagast The Brown, who has birds camping in his hair… And you remember the gorgeous Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), an heir to a kingdom usurped by a fire breathing dragon that sounds like Sherlock Holmes.

But it doesn’t matter. You’ll love the new movie so much, you will rent the DVD of the first part again and watch the second part again. Such is the adventure laden journey to the Lonely Mountain.

What is amazing about Peter Jackson’s Smaug is that you don’t get travel weary at all. There is walking and riding horses and walking some more and climbing, and swimming, and falling...The landscape of NewZealand (where the movie is mostly shot) is incredible and rich in color and texture (you will fall in love with grassy lands and fall colors on trees and waterfalls and great magical mountains). The tourism ministry must be inundated with visa applications each time Peter Jackson makes a movie like this, with queries about barrel rides in rivers…

The mythology of the Middle Earth will not sound complicated (you grew up on Amar Chitra Katha and endless repeats of the LOTR trilogy on TV), and neither will you roll your eyes and wonder if Tolkein had a lisp (or a super sense of humor) when he names his characters, ‘Thorin son of Thrain, grandson of Thror, the greedy King Under The Mountain’.

As you start watching this movie, the story and the details on characters you met in The Unexpected Journey will come back to you, just as the scary, ugly Orcs do. No matter how many times I have seen LOTR, the sight of the Orcs, and their propensity for violence makes for superb viewing. What I don’t understand though, is how Azog just doesn’t die. Come on, Mr Jackson, you are forever letting him escape, no matter how many times he going to show up in the movies?

Gandalf of course, must do the Gandalf thing and vanish to do his own thing after leading the travelers to something dangerous. That creepy forest of illusions is indeed creepy, though I would have loved to see more illusions…

It was a treat seeing Legolas of the single expression fame. He’s so good looking, and so fleet-footed, you will love him even more in this movie.

There’s hardly time for desolation here. I could go on about how terrifying the last forty-five minutes are; how magical the set pieces within those last forty-five minutes are; how amazing it is to see rather than hear ‘no man left behind’ speech…

And even though one part of me was expecting the dragon (menacingly voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) to call out for Mrs. Hudson, you can be sure that you will laugh and whoop and be terrified through this 161 minute long adventure and you will still crave for more decapitated Orcs and evil. Such is its magic.   

(the FilmOrbit website is going for a revamp. will be up soon!)

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

I just want them to get the next installment over with, and be done with this whole unneeded trilogy. Seriously, that's all I want. Good review Manisha.