The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

January 13, 2014
Peter Jackson takes us into another installment of the Middle Earth Franchise, this time a follow up to the previous installment The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The first film of The Hobbit Trilogy may have disappointed some fans, but can The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug live up to the expectations?

After the events of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Bilbo Baggins and the thirteen Dwarves lead by Thorin Oakenshield continue their quest to reclaim their homeland, Erebor, where an evil dragon awaits them in the Desolation of Smaug. Meanwhile, Gandalf the Grey goes on a side-quest to investigate a growing evil known as The Necromancer.........

With a sense of incredible fun and enduring adventure, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a more action-packed and entertaining film, making it a vast improvement over than its predecessor. Peter Jackson directs some of the best actions so far in this new trilogy, including memorable scenes found from the book. Such as the disturbingly creepy spiders of mirkwood to an amusing escape scene involving barrels. Peter Jackson improved substantially on his action sequence.

But despite improving on the action sequences, this film still contains the same problem that the first film has, as it also contains many additional scenes not found in the book. Some of these scene can be considered filler and unnecessary, such as a brooming romance, and sadly those are true. But while it may be a problem for the film, it also serves as one of the great things, as some of the additional scenes add up and connect to events that happen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. All of the scenes involving the LOTR connections may not be in the book, but where found in J.R.R. Tolkien lore, and where welcome additions.

The returning characters in the film continue to shine. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins continue to show why he was perfect for the role, as his character starts to get more involved in the action. The character of Thorin Oakenshield gets more depth and focus. But it is the extra addition of characters, such as fan favorite Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), Legolas from Lord of the Rings (Orlando Bloom), and an original elf character named Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) that stood out in this film. Although the last two characters aren't in the book, it was a welcome addition, as all three continue to stand out.

But none of the characters, none of the action sequences in the film, can be compared to the introduction of Smaug the Dragon. Providing the motion capture and voice, Benedict Cumberbatch's performance of Smaug is by far the best motion capture performance and CGI character since Andy Serkis's Gollum(from Lord of the Rings), and is the best dragon ever to be adapted in cinematic history. What adds to the sheer perfection of Smaug is the performance that Benedict Cumberbatch adds. His portrayal of Smaug is inspiring, as Smaug strikes fearful and psychological rage. And the voice. The voice. The voice of Smaug sends shivers down your spine, and one that could imagine while reading the book. Benedict Cumberbatch is able to capture the fully realized personality of Smaug. Smaug is cunning, frightful, dangerous, and is undoubtly the highlight of the film.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug may still have some pacing and length issues, but is an improvement over its predecessor. With a sense of fun and adventure, great returning and new characters, and featuring the irresistible performance of Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, Peter Jackson's second installment of The Hobbit Trilogy is Blu-Ray Worthy.

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