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The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug – Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review


Release Date: 13th December 2013
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh - Philippa Boyens - Peter Jackson - Guillermo del Toro [Screenplay] - J.R.R. Tolkien [Novel]
Cast: Martin Freeman - Ian McKellen - Benedict Cumberbatch - Richard Armitage - Aidan Turner - Orlando Bloom - Evangeline Lily - Lee Pace - Luke Evans



Sound & Music



Visual Effects

Total Score

User Rating
2 total ratings


Posted December 19, 2013 by

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review:

The wait is finally over for most of the cinema going populous and a dose of Middle-Earth is well overdue. Peter Jackson’s second instalment of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was well worth the wait and in so many ways, better than its predecessor. Spiders, Elves, dwarves and a fire breathing dragon named Smaug – this is true adventure is all its mythical glory.

Of course it is terribly difficult not to compare the film to the book but you can never truly keep everyone happy. In order to make an epic masterpiece certain things may have been changed, but ultimately this is a visually stimulating experience delivering the story in a much different way than reading Tolkien’s words. Diehard fans may have something to say about what Jackson has done to the original, albeit this is the best chapter we have been given of ‘the young’ Bilbo Baggins thus far. Martin Freeman is back and reprising his role of the curious, fluffy footed Hobbit from the Shire who has got caught up in a rather risky journey with a bunch of quirky dwarves. Very much like the The Two Towers, this film picks up the pace and is over-flowing with action packed scenes that will make up for the distinct lack of in the first. Despite the hefty running time of 161 minutes (yep 2 hours and 41minutes!), the stunning high frame rate (48 frames per second) alongside outstanding 3D offers the ideal cinematic experience – even if you find yourself shuffling in your seat.

Just as we have seen firsthand in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson yet again represents Tolkien’s magical worlds and creatures bringing them to life with complexity and sheer sparkle. Jackson very wisely gets on to bridging that gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Not only by planting clever hints throughout the script but during Gandalf’s interesting scene’s we get our first proper glimpse of the dark shadowy presence of the Necromancer, who is only after one thing (and I bet you can guess what that is!). Even at this fairly early stage the presence of this mysterious artefact is well established. Mr. Baggins certainly feels this uncontrollable pull towards the ring, letting pure darkness seep into his otherwise cheerful and peaceful existence when a rather nasty spider knocks it out of hand.

Along with the ghastly looking Orcs, we have the return of Legolas skilful as ever with his bow, only this time fighting alongside the equally able elf Tauriel. Although this female character does not appear in the book Evangeline Lily really shines through the long red hair and pointy ears as the resilient Tauriel and is a welcome addition on screen. The well-paced journey builds to the inevitable peak of Bilbo coming face to face with the feisty dragon himself – Smaug, brilliantly voiced by one seething sultry Benedict Cumberbatch. Although thoroughly entertaining with outstanding special effects Smaug and Bilbos chat felt a tad drawn out and rather unnecessary. It seemed to stray away from the main story at hand which to some extent dispersed the overall effect of the cliffhanger ending.

Despite the cold shoulder An Unexpected Journey received last year, Desolation of Smaug ditches the juvenile approach and brings a well developed film to the franchise. Alongside Howard Shore’s wonderfully classical score this is a magnificent, comical and captivating piece of cinema. With fabulously funny scenes involving 13 dwarves and a hobbit in barrels, this is a Christmas must see for all the family. The eagerly awaited final chapter couldn’t come soon enough!


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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.05.17

Gloria Daniels-Moss
Freelance Contributor