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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Desolation of Smaug

The Desolation of Smaug, the boredom of the audience. 

I'm just going to say this out first. Desolation of Smaug is too damn long a film, which made it extremely boring and tedious to go through. It's akin to being stuck in a dinner with annoying relatives that you can't find a way to get out of. At some point, you wish 'OMG, someone kill me already'. To put it into perspective, I found Titanic LESS draggy than this film. 

Okay, so what's Hobbit about? It's continues from the last film and goes on all the way to the lair of Smaug. The problem is that journey takes 161 mins in total, when a lot of is it pretty much just boring drivel. Seriously, how many times/mins do we need to spend watching the party run across huge plains/fields/forests/terrain without doing much of anything else? Holy pacing issues Gandalf. 

I think part of the issues is that the Hobbit is a pretty short book. And they wanted to make it fit 3 films? Ugh. It worked for LoTR because that was 3 full-sized novels so they had lots of good parts in them that they could take from and skimp out on the more boring parts. In this trilogy though, they had to PAD the frigging films with boring parts just to make it a trilogy. That's how I feel at least. 

Things I didn't like. The CGI. I liked the first film because most of the orcs were actually just humans in disguise and not CGI. It made it more believable. But for this, there's just so much damn CGI, it's pretty fucked up. It's akin to people who take HDR photos but tweak them so much that the colors pretty much end up looking fake. Yes, that's a thing. I wouldn't say it's an uncanny valley effect because the graphics just don't look anywhere near realistic enough to be that. One such example is the fight scene against the necromancer, Gandalf uses his light spell, which we all saw in LoTR to try and repel Sauron. Except this time it appears as a glowing bubble which looked really stupid. At least in LoTR, when he repelled the Nazgul, it was more subtle, as piercing rays of light that broke the darkness. Sure, it looked cheesy but in this new version, it looked both cheesy AND stupid. So that was at least better. 

Also, the fight scenes. I understand that they wanted to ramp up the action a bit. But again, like their CGI, it's so ramped up it's unbelievable. Especially the river-rafting scene. Doesn't help that most of it seems to be CGI anyway. Also, I'm not convinced of the wisdom of Legolas going in to grapple with an orc. Elves...wrestling with Orcs instead of keeping their distance and shooting them. It's like these people never played D&D and didn't realise rangers don't wrestle. 

Then there's Tauriel... Yeah. To be honest, didn't really care if they inserted a new character or whatnot into the film. It's not like they were being particularly true to the books anyway. However, what I found horrible was Tauriel herself. Not only was she an utterly bland character (no, Tauriel, I don't give a crap about your shitty romance with either the elf or the dwarf) but she took up so much damn screen time as well. I think the real issue I have with her is how she's written. Other than her little potential 'love triangle', she might as well have been a guy. Because she has no other characteristic than 'kick-ass' and 'healing'. Hey guess what? Aragorn can do that too. And he was better developed.

Which is kind of sad because Tolkien could write strong female characters, who didn't need to go all action-girl to prove they were strong. Just look at Galadriel. All-powerful queen, wise elf of the ages, part of the Council, helped drive the Necromancer out, KNEW how to refuse temptation of the One Ring. Instead, we get...Tauriel. Who basically went out after a bunch of marauding orcs by herself, knowing Legolas would follow her. Then when Legolas goes out to chase down the orcs, she's like "Nope, sorry, gonna heal this dwarf that's already being looked after by a dwarven healer, lololol"
Yeah, that's the kinda face she should have been making -_-. Other than that, also not too happy with how they're portraying Thranduil; the elven king either. Either it was unintentional but he really really gives off child-molestor vibes in his character protrayal. 

Overall, very very boring film. Takes ages for the action scenes and even then, they're not too good.