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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Thrilling Second Chapter to Epic Trilogy

  • Benedict CumberbatchEvangeline Lilly...
  • Action & AdventureThriller
  • Peter Jackson
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Thrilling Second Chapter to Epic Trilogy

After the disappointing and the rather lifeless turnout of last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, many were doubtful as to whether Peter Jackson would be able to endure any more voyages across Middle-Earth. His second chapter of the planned cinematic trilogy, however, prove otherwise.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues to follow Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) and his dwarf companions as they try to make their way to the Lonely Mountain.  Led by Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage) and guided by Gandalf the Grey (McKellen), the dwarfs remain determined in their mission of reclaiming their kingdom back from the sleeping villainous dragon, Smaug (voiced by Cumberbatch).

Naturally, the closer they get to their target, the more threats they face and after a chancy run-in with the Orcs, the group is forced to face the confounding maze of the Mirkwood Forest alone, as Gandalf is soon called upon another mission of his own. Left to fend for themselves, Thorin and Bilbo need to do everything in their power to ensure safe passage across the testing route if they ever wish to get their hands on the Arkenstone from the grips of the treacherous dragon.

Vibrant and full of life, The Desolation of Smaug doesn’t waste any time and manages to deliver non-stop action right from the start. Once again, Freeman proves to be an absolutely perfect fit for Bilbo and thanks to his childlike innocence and superb comedic timing. Gaining terrific support from both Armitage and Mckellen – whose Gandalf unfortunately doesn’t hold a prominent part this time around but whose presence is still immensely felt – as well as from a couple of newcomers including Lilly in the role of  highly-skilled she-elf, Tauriel, and Evans as Bard the Bowman. The most notable performance, though, is Cumberbatch’s.  The sly and shrewdly-spoken dragon is definitely the films highlight and the Star Trek Into Darkness star – although maybe a bit too chatty – manages to embody the creature with subtlety and delicacy.

Well-paced and a bit more together in terms of the story, Jackson – along with his team of writers – manages to keep the story moving along nicely, although, some viewers might still finds that the 161 minute running time a little taxing.

However, everything from the grand production design and CGI to the exhilarating storyline – which includes colossal spiders and an electrifying pursuit down a wild and a blustery river amongst other things – makes the wait for the third and final chapter to The Hobbit trilogy all the more antsy.

360 Tip

As well as voicing the character of Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch also provided the motion-capture performance for the CGI creature, after he spent time studying iguanas and Komodo dragons at London Zoo.

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