Title: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (Official site)
Tag Line: Beyond darkness…beyond desolation…lies the greatest danger of all.
Release Date: 13 December 2013
Runtime: 161 min
Genres: Adventure | Fantasy | Drama
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Theatre (Screening)
Production Company: New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), WingNut Films
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), and J.R.R. Tolkien (novel)
Stars: Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur), James Nesbitt (Bofu), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Adam Brown (Ori), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug, Necromancer), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Luke Evans (Bard, Girion), Manu Bennett (Azog), Lawrence Makoare (Bolg)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The Hobbit Series Order
Film 1: An Unexpected Journey
Film 2: The Desolation of Smaug (13 Dec 2013)
Film 3: There and Back Again (~Dec 2014)
Prior to attending a screening of The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug I had not seen very many previews for it but the ones I did see made me very excited for the movie. As one would expect from a single book that was broken up into three parts, The Desolation of Smaug, picks up not long after An Unexpected Journey ends. Things are still a bit dire for our Dwarf and Hobbit friends as they continue to be stalked by the orc Azog and things don’t get better when Gandalf is called away to the south. This means that the Dawarves and Bilbo have to enter Mirkwood Forest on their own.
This is the part of the movie that I liked the least as it was the scene with the spiders. I am not a fan of spiders. The only thing worse than spiders are GIANT spiders. And in 3D when those spiders come flying at you…well, that was just not cool. Not cool at all. I didn’t scream but I most certainly did jump! But then it was over and there was Legolas! Oh sweet Legolas, my favorite character from the LOTR books and oh so pretty in the LOTR films and who totally shouldn’t be in the Hobbit movie but I don’t care because I adore him so.
I loved getting to see the home of the Mirkwood elves and I loved how Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh worked Legolas into the story and made it believable. I also liked the addition of Tauriel who is a totally made up character but one who fits in so seamlessly into the story. Tauriel is different from other elves that we’ve seen, or at least the female elves. She isn’t of high rank and so wears more practical clothes and she is a mean son of a gun when it comes to wielding a bow and arrow. She totally rivals Legolas in every way and I think I have developed quite the girl crush on her. I liked her story and I liked the slight romance that seems to be brewing between her and another character and I look forward to seeing where that might go.
But the thing that I loved most about The Desolation of Smaug was Smaug himself. Boy oh boy this the effects department do a good job with bringing this dragon to life. And in 3D everything was just so real and vivid and just totally took my breath away. I was on the edge of my seat during the scenes between Bilbo and Smaug and I probably held my breath a time or two as well. The action, once it started, was fierce and fast paced and it just rushes along until before you know it the credits are rolling and you’re left blinking wondering how on earth did 2 hours just pass as it feels like mere moments.
For me, The Desolation of Smaug has more of a cliff hanger ending to it than An Unexpected Journey and it means that There and Back Again will most like be filled with nonstop craziness. As with many middle of anything The Desolation of Smaug has that incomplete feel and I do still think that The Hobbit as a whole would have been better told in just two films instead of three. But the uber geek in me just loves that there will be another film. That its not time to leave Middle Earth yet and that there is still new and amazing things to discover.
Like where Gandalf went when he left the Dwarves and Bilbo. Oh you get to see some of that in Desolation of Smaug but there is still more of that story to be told and I for one am looking forward to it. I thought that I might be upset at some of the additions that Jackson was making to the story but as a whole I am loving what he has done so far. You can tell that Jackson is a huge fan of this world and that all that he’s added has only enhanced the story of The Hobbit and done nothing to take away from it.
The special effects are stunning (as one would expect) and this is one film that I will be recommending that people see in 3D. Normally I don’t see a ton of difference between 2D and 3D viewing. Oh 3D does make things pop but it doesn’t really change the movie viewing experience for me. The Desolation of Smaug on the other hand just seemed so much more because it was in 3D. Smaug literally floated off the screen and was just so very impressive. I really can’t say that enough. I am just in complete and total awe of the dragon.
The Desolation of Smaug is more serious than An Unexpected Journey but it wasn’t without its light hearted moments. There were lots of laughs throughout the theatre mixed in with a few gasps at some of the action scenes. Especially those action scenes that involve Legolas and Tauriel. Desolation of Smaug didn’t feel like it was almost 3 hours in length. I was lost in this story and I hated for it to end. I think I could have happily sat for another 3 hours just to have more of this rich and amazing world. Alas, I will have to wait a whole year for that. But if 2013 is anything to go by There and Back Again will be here in a blink.
My Recommendation: Definitely one to see in theatres and I highly recommend viewing it in 3D as well.