Friday, March 21, 2014
The Desolation Of Smaug!
I was a bit underwhelmed by the first intallment of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic yarn about a wandering Hobbit and thirteen dwarves seeking ancient treasure. Not because it wasn't impressive, but because to my weary eye it came across as more of an animated event than a real life movie. So I didn't rush out to see the second installment this past holiday season. I thought I'd wait for the inevitable DVD and just watch it then. That's a far cry from the burning enthusiasm I had for the original Jackson film trilogy which I anticipated with a ripe eagerness.
But with time on my hands and nice warming temperatures and a dry day, I thought I'd take it in at the local discount cinema. With soda and popcorn (each costing more than my ticket) in hand I settled into the well-used theater alongside a few others and watched what surprisingly turned out to be a rousing movie event. The computer generated elements were surely in evidence, but somehow seemed less apparent to my eye and so failed to draw me out of the adventure which picked up where last year's first installment left off.
Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf companions encounter Beorn the shape-changer, enter the horrible Mirkwood forest and confront the rather grim elves within, and make their way to Laketown, the domain of men at the foot of the Misty Mountain where Smaug came to drive the dwarves out generations before. They raid the dark halls and wake the dragon, a dangerous thing to do.
For a movie which lasts nearly three hours I found time flying by remarkably swiftly and was actually startled when the story ended, leaving me hanging for many months before I can discover the end. Of course we all know how it will end, but how we'll get there is the challenge Jackson has before him. He's created a rousing thrillride with this installment, less dependent on its Tolkien source material, but which does a goodly job of linking this tale to the earlier trilogy.
Good show indeed. I'm eager to see the end now, very eager indeed.