Smaug, the one highlight in Jackson’s desolation


Smaug the dragon. « The Hobbit. The Desolation of Smaug » © 2013 Warner Bros.

Everyone was waiting for him, T H E  dragon under the Mountain : Smaug the Tremendous, Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities. And we did get a good show. If it were only for seeing this phantastic creature moving trough the heap of treasures, golden coins running like liquid through his claws, the supple movement of his long neck, his batlike wings, his evil, glowing amber eyes, this movie would have been a succes. Even if I a certain T-Rex from « Jurassic Park » seems a distant parent.

But alas, there is the rest of « The Desolation of Smaug« , latest Tolkien inspired movie from Peter Jackson. His decision to add characters randomly to Tolkien’s story which doesn’t really need them, rather than making the existing ones more convincing, is very surprising. One exemple : creating a love story between a female elf, Tauriel, and a dwarf (who doesn’t resemble a dwarf). Ok then, for love’s sake.

Technical possibilities of making fictional beings live – like Smaug the dragon – are so elaborate today, that filmmakers seem to forget that good movies need most importantly interesting characters. Smaug the dragon is a very good actor, but he is quite alone.

Thank you Martin Freeman, for saving the human part of this movie (yes I know, he is no human but a hobbit). Freeman is the only one worth seeing. Ian McKellen is a good actor no doubt, but his Gandalf character doesn’t work. In most parts of the film, one can’t even understand what he is mumbling mysteriously in his beard.

Born in Canterbury, South England, Orlando Bloom (« Legolas ») lacks the sense of story-telling and poetry – any poetry. His face is strangely changed (it looks quite immortal in fact), not only because he is now older than he was in « The Lord of the Rings« , but because he plays an empty part in the movie, and absolutely no part in the story. Why adding him instead of bringing some of the original characters of Tolkiens story in existence ? The worst exemple is Beorn, an empty and boring character in Jackson’s movie, but a very strong and unforgettable character in Tolkiens book.

Oh, and my dear friend the Pale Ork is back again, as evil and ugly as ever, but still as inefficient. His orks are failures : they can’t shoot, they can’t fight, and they are acting most stupidly, which is indeed very annoying for the chief vilain, Sauron. I guess this is why he decided to come in existence : there are definitely too may idiotic orks around to do the job properly.

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