Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.
I figure that because I (intentionally) gave you a horrible trailer this morning, that I owed you an alternate. So here, I present you with the freshly released trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Watch below, and read on for my thoughts:
1) Do you think we can go ahead and compare this film to The Two Towers? The middle installment of Lord of the Rings was a bit of a departure from the first, which gave us (mostly) a very accurate translation from page to screen. The Two Towers focused instead on a few key plot points from the books and expanded them to create a well rounded film (which is my favorite of the LOTR trilogy). The Desolation of Smaug has several big moments from the book, including the encounter with the spiders and the escape from the elves, as well as Bilbo’s introduction to Smaug, but we also get a lot in this trailer that isn’t directly from the book. Peter Jackson and company included lots of information from the Appendices of LOTR, but they also created some original things for the film, which brings us to…
2) We get our first looks at Evangeline Lilly in action as Tauriel, an original creation of Jackson and Philippa Boyens, added to give the film a female character. I’m sure lots of people will complain about this, but in this case I think it’s a good thing to modernize the story a bit. I don’t feel like it will alter the story in any way from what Tolkien envisioned, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually seen it (as everyone should do). We also get to see Legolas (Orlando Bloom) returning to the screen. I’m a big fan of Bloom, and it’s great to see him back as the badass Legolas. “Do not think I won’t kill you, dwarf.” It’s clear the two of them have their own story arc in this film, and I’m sure they’ll return for the Battle of the Five Armies in the final film. I think Legolas’s line, “It is not our fight,” and Tauriel’s response, “It is our fight,” point to that. It’s also nice to see a slightly less evolved Legolas, making the overall 6-film saga more cohesive.
3) We get some great views of pretty scenery, which will look exceptionally good in 3D at 48 frames per second. I wasn’t completely sold on 48fps with An Unexpected Journey, but there’s no doubt that it makes the scenery absolutely gorgeous.
4) Between the barrel escape, the spiders, and battles with orcs, it looks like The Desolation of Smaug will be more action packed than part 1. This is fine with me, as long as the action fits the story and doesn’t feel forced in. Obviously the spiders and elves are from the book, but the white orc, Azog, doesn’t appear in it, but his presence in the first film made sense.
5) We haven’t gotten a real look at the Necromancer (played with motion capture by Benedict Cumberbatch, who also voices Smaug), but it’s clear the battle with him (taken from the appendices) will be part of the film. We get Gandalf’s great line, “It’s undoubtedly a trap,” in response to Radagast.
6) Generally speaking, we get very little of our company of dwarves or of Bilbo and Gandalf. It makes sense that the filmmakers would assume we’re all familiar with the story thus far and therefore not waste time reintroducing us to characters we know. Instead we get looks at the other players, including Legolas and Tauriel, but also Thranduil, Beorn and Bard.
7) Lots of discussion of evil, which helps tie everything into LOTR. The Necromancer/Smaug/Azog trifecta is giving us a more defined set of antagonists than the simple giant spiders we got at this point in the book. It gives the film a darker tone than the first one, much in line with what was done for The Two Towers.
8) It was a bold move to show us Smaug, even if they’ve yet to reveal him in his entirety (jewel-covered belly and all). Clearly they’re confident enough in their creation to give us this look, while still holding enough in reserve to keep the mystery up. I have a large set of opinions on film dragons, and while nothing will never match Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer, Smaug looks to be an amazing achievement. I can’t wait to see it!
*Note: When I saw An Unexpected Journey in the theater (at midnight, presumably surrounded by fans) everyone let out noises of shock and disappointment when the movie ended mid-story. I don’t know what people expected, but I would have hoped anyone die-hard enough to come to a midnight showing would know that it was just part 1 of a trilogy (if the subtitle didn’t tip you off). So everyone be warned, this is just part 2. Part 3 (There and Back Again) comes out next year.
What do you think? Was this trailer better than the one for The Heat? How does Smaug look? Are you happy to see a female character, or upset that Jackson is changing the story? Which Dwarf is sexiest? Let me know in the comments!