Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
THE second film in the Hobbit trilogy, ‘The Desolation of Smaug‘, has been getting mixed reviews. So being a big Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fan I decided that it was high time that I went to see it for myself.
People all over the world have an opinion about this trilogy, excluding hard-core fans (I’m talking about those who dress up for the premiere, you know who you are). The majority of people think that a trilogy is overkill. While I was inclined to agree with the naysayers when word of a trilogy surfaced, it didn’t stop me going on down to see it. After seeing the first one, I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next in the series.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was just as magical as the first instalment. The cinematography is amazing and no film comes close to the camera work and special effects that you see in this movie. Even the fact that every single orc is a different shade of ugly just amazes and enthralls me. The detail that has gone into each of these films is something unseen in other blockbusters.
The Desolation of Smaug continues to follow the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins – played by Martin Freeman – as he journeys with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and 13 dwarves on an epic adventure to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
And what a quest it turns out to be. Not only do the heroes encounter plenty of orcs but a shapeshifter, giant spiders and elves also make appearances to spice things up. This is certainly a faster-moving film than its predecessor and there is less whimsical narration to distract from the plot.
The gigantic dragon Smaug – the centre of the whole film – is voiced and motion-captured by Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to be in everything right now. Martin Freeman plays Bilbo much the same way he did in the first film, with an air of bewilderment. While many critics think this is perfectly suited to the character, I am not so sure. For me the happy-go-lucky hobbit routine is wearing thin and I would like to see him play Bilbo with a bit more emotion and less wind-between-the-ears expression.
I was a little disappointed by the ending. Without creating a massive spoiler alert, the ultimate goal still seems a long way off and stretching it into an epic 9-hour trilogy is starting to look a little ambitious.
With that said I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend anyone who loves fantasy and likes to retreat into their own world now and again to get down to your nearest cinema. But don’t forget the popcorn, it’s a long one! An improvement on the slow-moving first film, I personally can’t wait for the third and final instalment, There and Back Again.
Photos c/o patheos.com, cineplex.com