The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug(2013)
Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth continues with part two of his three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Young Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), legendary warrior Thorin Oakensheild (Richard Armitage) and a posse of 13 dwarves journey to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.... More
Having passed the Lonely Mountain and the goblin tunnels, the cavalcade must now traverse spider-infested forests, the lands of the unforgiving Elves and a poverty-stricken lakeside town on the verge of political collapse. But in the very mountain kingdom the dwarves are trying to reclaim, Bilbo’s greatest challenge lies dormant: the almighty dragon Smaug.Hide
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BY Liam Maguren Flicks Writer
Without the 40 minute set-up of irritating character introductions that halted An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug falls more in line with Part 1’s more riveting second and third acts. The 161 minute running time feels more like a 100m sprint than a marathon, making this middle chapter of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit the most accessible addition to the Middle Earth saga.... More
The dwarves are given greater chances to stamp their significance in the cavalcade. Balin’s constant display of wisdom is a counterweight to Thorin’s aggressive passion to regain the lost kingdom from Smaug while Kili’s romantic subplot with Elvin warrior Tauriel shows the start of potential ties between the two conflicting races. Bombur also becomes a badass-in-a-barrel during a river chase sequence which is easily one of the most inventive action set pieces I’ve seen all year. Despite this much-needed character distinction, there’s little camaraderie between the dwarves and the underdog Hobbit throughout the majority of the film – especially given the number of times Bilbo busts his butt to save them all.
However, the highlight of the prequel trilogy thus far comes where it’s most needed: with the reveal of Smaug. From the opening compositions that tease a shot of a tail or an eyeball to sweeping camera movements that reveal all, Jackson achieves a magnificent and gradual sense of enormity to the beast, perfectly complemented by Benedict Cumberbatch’s eloquent and terrifying vocal talents. In high frame rate, Smaug is consistently awe-inspiring to behold – a surprising feat when most of Desolation’s CGI elements nestle in awkward uncanniness with the 48 frame bump.Hide
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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
BY thorinoak superstar
Peter Jackson is back on form with this one with superb action sequences (the barrel chase down the river...WOW!) and with a lot more heart than the first.
BY Rhys-Rushton superstar
The 161 min runtime initially put me off a little as these epics have been known to drag on a little but there was actually quite a lot of action and a bit of suspense, so you didn’t... More really notice the time until it’s all over.
Admittedly, The Desolation of Smaug has not fully restored my interest in The LOTR but it certainly has aroused it… my interest that is.
A solid 4/5 from me.Hide
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