The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


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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Flicks Review

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

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 11 ratings, 11 reviews
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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 Colttany superstar

Well Done Peter Jackson.. once again real entertainment. Really enjoyed it

BY Gerd superstar

Same old, same old a lot of darkness with no relation to anything important on the planet and even the special effects limp miles behind of something like Avatar. Cutting an hour out of it would have helped a little.

BY Rhys-Rushton superstar

Actually my interest in the LOTR greatly diminished after the initial trilogy and I was not gripped by the same excitement and interest that I was with the first of the LOTR films. I was surprised then when I saw the latest monolithic offering from Mr Jacksons stable that it was actually quite a good film.

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

BY TG09NZ wannabe

Good film, didn't seem a long film watching it. Well done, apart from some of the SFX poorly done. Apart from that, looking forward to the next one.

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The Press Reviews

75% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Middle-earth's got its mojo back. A huge improvement on the previous installment, this takes our adventurers into uncharted territory and delivers spectacle by the ton. Full Review

  • The Desolation of Smaug is a cheerfully entertaining and exhilarating adventure tale, a supercharged Saturday morning picture: it's mysterious and strange and yet Jackson also effortlessly conjures up that genial quality that distinguishes The Hobbit from the more solemn Rings stories. Full Review

  • After exhibiting an almost craven fidelity to his source material the first time out, Jackson gets the drama in gear here from the outset with a sense of storytelling that possesses palpable energy and purpose. Full Review

  • This robust, action-packed adventure benefits from a headier sense of forward momentum and a steady stream of 3D-enhanced thrills. Full Review

  • Despite suffering from middle-act wobbles... nevertheless delivers rousing action, incredible visuals and one stupendous dragon. Full Review

  • Unnecessarily sprawling... It’s hard to fight the feeling that The Hobbit simply isn’t an epic story, and the efforts to expand it into one leave it feeling like an anvil crammed into a sock. Full Review

  • Exhaustion has set in by the time Bilbo and his friends encounter Smaug... so it's a good thing that that's when Jackson goes full bore with the adrenalizing, digitally augmented braggadocio. Full Review

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