It was a bad LOTR film, had some pointless filler sequences, and did not evoke the emotional heartstrings that the trilogy or even Hobbit Part 1 did. It's the only film in the mythos were people in the theatre were complaining about it before they got out of their seats, and as I've said before, when the original trilogy aired, it got standing ovations in the cinema. That's unheard of anymore in entertainment. People give standing ovations arbitrarily at speeches and kids' dance recitals, but you'd better have an epic on your hand to get their lazy asses out of those seats after a film.
Tauriel and Legolas were awesome. Everyone else was okay. Bard has potential. Beorn was wasted. Where is Chris Lee?
As I was leaving the theater I heard someone behind say "Well that movie sucked". I couldn't bring myself to disagree with him.
Good film. Sub-par LotR film. Bad adaptation. And I don't mean "bad adaptation" as in, "they changed things wah wah." I mean just generally a bad adaptation. Except for the scene with Bilbo and Smaug, that was great. As Jay and Mike said, Jackson probably really wanted to do that scene, so he did it perfectly. The rest of the movie just came with the package deal.
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Last edited by Lord Lucien on Dec 24th, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Although I enjoyed Desolation a lot more than An Unexpected Journey (which was long winded, boring at times, stretched like butter scraped over too much bread) due to its better pacing, speed and a bit more relevant action, I was also disappointed. And especially because of The Hobbit kinda ruining LOTR by repeating stuff from LOTR (this making the LOTR scenes chronologically the repetitions).
It seems to me Jackson, Walsh and Boyens seem to suffer from the same affliction George Lucas suffered from while making the Star Wars prequels. He too repeated a lot of elements and scenes from the OT . Lucas called this "poetry"… but in my mind poetry is a bit more than just repeating identical moments. Plus the problem is that by repeating scenes or elements in the PREQUELS you turn the original SEQUELS into copycats when watching them in chronological order. Also, by trying to top the existing sequels, Lucas kinda destroyed OT characters and events. He turned the OT Darth Vader into a whiny psycho with prosthetics (while he was once the greatest movie villain of all time), he made Leia's memory of her mother totally nonsensical and he made the Stormtroopers look like a bunch of whimps compared to the Clone Troopers.
I see the same happening in Desolation, the same need to repeat from the sequel and the same lack of ideas (?) in trying to top LOTR.
One element is Legolas. Now, the idea of a short cameo by Legolas as Thranduil's son would have been enough by far. But in this movie he is shown as a super athletic jumping surfing orc slaying Elf in a way we never saw him in LOTR. A) we've already seen him like that. so why add him? B) By adding these scenes, what new things do we learn about Legolas in LOTR… nothing except for the fact that we never see him do such incredible and rather ridiculous stunts as he does in Desolation. It seems the LOTR Legolas is the lesser to the Desolation Legolas. Why diminish such a well loved character from LOTR?
Another is Tauriel. I applaud Jackson's, Walsh's and Boyens' desire to add a major female character. But why do we get a near copy of LOTR's Arwen???? She does just about the same things: she saves a non-Elf from an attack with a dark weapon (Arwen saves Frodo after being cut down by a Morgul blade, Tauriel saves a dwarf hit by an orc arrow, both containing the same kind of poison obviously). Tauriel also sends out someone to get King's Foil, just like Arwen did in LOTR. And Tauriel falls in love with a non-Elf, just like Arwen did with Aragorn… Now, why such a lame copy of Arwen? Have they run out of ideas? And the consequence is the same: Arwen's story becomes the copy of Tauriel's. Both stories were made up by the script trio… but it seems like they can imagine only one female storyline…. Kinda sad.
A third, perhaps more disturbing story element that kinda ruins a major element from LOTR are Azog, his son and all these huge orcs that seems endless in number. They are much bigger than the average hordes of orcs we saw in LOTR. PLUS… the move about in daylight. Didn't Saruman genetically engineer super orcs, called Uruk Hai, so they would be more powerful and could travel in daylight? But now I wonder: why??? These orcs already exist. Saruman is doing something absolutely obsolete.
Personally I also don't like the whole Sauron storyline. There's a lot of talk in both movies about 'a darkness' that moves in the shadows… But why do we need that? And so extensively. If the story is about a Hobbit, let it be more ABOUT the Hobbit. But very often it seems to be about the rise of Sauron. That weird appearance scene in Dol Guldur where we see Sauron's silhouette appearing a number of times in the flames, also does away with the mystery of the Eye in LOTR… There's no surprise here, again, it kinda ruins the LOTR Sauron a bit.
By trying to top or equal LOTR with female characters and more (even more ridiculous) action scenes, this trilogy is well on its way to become the Star Wars PT. I did like the excellent scenes with Gollem and Smaug, they kinda save these movies. But a bit more character (like in the Beorns scene which seems absolutely obsolete to me) would certainly have made these movies better. "Less is more" would have been great for these films, as well as respect for the sequel the filmmakers made themselves. Respect by not endlessly referring to your own sequel, respect by not undoing great things from your own sequels, and respect by coming up with new ideas instead of repeating yourself.
Poetry is good, foreshadowing is good, but neither of them is attained by mere repetition.
Queeq's point on the orcs of Azog's ilk is very good and I missed it; Saruman's Uruk-hai breeding was supposed to be a milestone achievement, and this movie kind of ignores it.
But Jackson's ability to properly channel Tolkien is at times very weak. His handling of the breaking of Saruman is a flanderization I will never forgive him for; in the books, that was one of my favorite parts, and he utterly ruined it.