Movie Review by Jack Silbert
Finally—a nasty dragon! Between the Shrek series and How To Train Your Dragon—even going back to Pete’s Dragon and magical Puff—I’m worried that recent generations of kids don’t have the proper awe and respect for those fire-breathing baddies. Well, enter Smaug (who is not to be confused with Godzilla’s old foe, the Smog Monster).
As with most children’s sequels, you probably already have a pretty good sense whether this is appropriate for your kids. Did they handle the first Hobbit movie? Then buy your tickets for this one.
|Martin Freeman returns as Bilbo|
|Ian McKellen as Gandalf|
|Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel|
We also get a little humor (there is an unfortunately out-of-place “what’s in your trousers” joke) and romance, a contextual definition of “desolation,” along with lessons in loyalty, acceptance of others (dwarves and elves and humans), and the burden of family history. Can we live up to the past? Can we transcend it?
Sure, it may feel like we’ve seen it all before … and before … and before: The good guys on an epic quest to obtain a mystical object while simultaneously, a slowly-gaining-strength embodiment of Pure Evil is forming a massive, ominous army. But we must remember that, for a lot of this stuff, Tolkien was there first, and director Peter Jackson expertly presents and expertly paces the very rich source material. Even after two hours and forty minutes, I wish I didn’t have to wait a full year for Part III.