Where are my dragons?
Remember how there was a Hobbit movie last winter (and despite making a billion dollars worldwide, didn’t it feel like no one saw it?), and how there are two more still to go? Well the first trailer—with Czech subtitles (???)—for part two, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has just been released. And it looks…unfinished.
I mean literally, there is a lot of unfinished CGI. Don’t look too closely at the elves running through the trees, or the dwarves in the barrels, or the elves fighting, and definitely don’t look at the dragon, Smaug, at the end. There’s maybe thirty percent of the Smaug modeling that’s done, and we’re just looking at the head. But what is done on Smaug, namely his teeth, looks incredible, and with five-ish months left on post-production, the finished character is going to be insanely cool. The concept was bonkers, the barely-realized model in this trailer looks pretty goddamn badass, so the final product ought to be awesome. And don’t forget—Smaug is voiced by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. That voice, coming out of a DRAGON? Are you f*cking kidding me? I live for it.
Here’s where I will complain, though: Evangeline Lilly as the elf Tauriel. This is a new character added by Peter Jackson & Co. to relieve the sausage-fest nature of The Hobbit, and you can tell she’s just shoehorned in. Her dialogue is awful and her costume looks cheap, especially standing next to Orlando Bloom, reprising his role as Legolas. Bloom looks like he’s wearing engraved armor that’s probably handmade by actual smithies—the level of workmanship that goes into the LOTR costumes/props is unreal—but Lilly is wearing an elf costume picked up from the Party Outlet right before filming. This isn’t just unfinished, this is an afterthought.
But then there’s Lee Pace as boozy elf king Thranduil. He’s beautiful, right? The combination of makeup and lighting is very flattering. He’s really working that long blonde wig, too—this is how I imagine Rhaegar Targaryen looked. Also new to the ensemble is Luke Evans as Some Guy, but they cock-blocked us on hearing Cumberbatch speak as Smaug, deliberately no doubt.
As for the plot, who cares? This movie could just as easily be called The Hobbit: Are We There Yet? or The Hobbit: That Mountain Isn’t Getting Any Closer. There’s hobbits and dwarves and Lee Pace and sh*t, and they’re walking, and then DRAGONS.
Marketing tip: Trailer #2 should just be Smaug, flying around breathing fire and talking in The Batch’s sexy villain voice. Because everything is better with dragons.