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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

December 12th, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12)
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage
Running time: 161 min

The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Continuing directly on from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, our heros Thorin, Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves including Bilbo Baggins, move ever onward toward the lonely mountain and Erebor to re-claim their home and wealth that was stolen from them by Smaug the dragon.

With time running against them, Bilbo and friends must outrun the Orc pack led by Azog and reach the doorway before the final day of Autumn. Matters will worsen as their route will take them into an enchanted forest that is the Kingdom of The Elf King, the very one who refused to help the Dwarves when Smaug first attacked so many years ago.

With danger all around and time running out, can the Dwarves reach the mountain halls of Erebor and have Thorin restored as King under the Mountain? And will their plucky little burglar Bilbo find the one item the dwarves prize above all others; the same item that is literally under the claws of the great dragon…..

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug reunites the audience with this little fellowship of Dwarves with Bilbo and Gandalf in toe. The opening, as always, sets the scene for the audience and instantly you can feel you are once again part of Middle Earth.

The story continues, though greatly expanded from the original source novel. Some sequences from the novel are expanded (with some characters created especially for this adaption) and some others in the novel have only a passing mention of sorts.

Thankfully the action, the perfect blend of orch-ich blood and steel, is still as magnificent as ever and it’s through these action pieces that you still appreciate what Peter Jackson has brought to the silver screen once more.

True, there are perhaps too many scenes devoted to Legolas (he was never mentioned by name in the novel) and his companion, Tauriel (a very lovely Evangeline Lily); a she-elf that was specially created for this film adaptation. At times it does indeed feel that she has been added as pure filler material, however, that is of little note as what is one more creature in the land of many weird and wonderful creatures.

And believe me when I say this, there is no creature that fills the screen as much as Smaug the dragon. The audience can see every scale and tooth of this beast as it moves through the inner halls of Erebor, guarding a nation’s wealth of gold and jewels.

The cinematography that caused so much controversy in the first instalment has thankfully been sacrificed for more standard cinema practises and the movie flows so much more easily for it. The one drawback for this film however is in the closing action scenes, where the CGI is not as pure and easy as it has been on earlier scenes. This detracts from an otherwise greatly improved instalment in this Hobbit trilogy.

A brilliant sequel that delivers everything that was slightly missing from its predecessor and sets up the final instalment; without doubt THE cinematic event of the year!

4  out of 5 Nerds

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.