The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Middle Earth is a vast place. For anyone that has seen or read anything Lord of The Rings related, they know that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote as much detail as possible to make this magical land large enough to seem real. This is a place where mountains can hold kings and where little people called hobbits can call meadows home. It’s know wonder that director Peter Jackson chose his home country of New Zealand as his shooting location; the island down below somehow has all of that. If anything, The Lord of The Rings makes me want to find my passport in order to visit this place.
Middle Earth was also the setting to last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I already talked about how despite it’s slow running time I liked it. I had only recently become a fan of The Lord of The Rings and I had plenty of catching up to do. I’ve read a couple of the books to not only understand these characters, but to escape to Middle Earth. This is one of those stories that made me feel like a little boy again. Another year has passed, so it’s time for the next chapter, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
After escaping the goblins from the previous film, Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman) now has the one ring that will play a big part in The Lord of The Rings films. For now, he has kept it a secret from the dwarves and Gandalf the gray (played my Ian McKellen). They make it to an Inn where they understand that they need to obtain the precious Arkenstone in order to unite the dwarves. This is where Bilbo will be needed; to steal the stone from the dragon that lives in the mountain.
The band makes it to the gate of a forest where Gandalf leaves them. They track their way through to have an encounter with giant spiders. Bilbo uses the ring to save his friends, but eventually escape when the elves, including Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom), captures them. They escape by riding barrels through a river in one of the films best sequences as Ork monsters are attacking at the same time. They meet up with a fisherman who takes them to the lake town where the mountain is finally in sight. It’s finally time to face one of the best dragons ever put on film, Smaug (played by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Where do I begin? The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is better then the last movie. Gone is the slower pace in favor for more of an action/adventure story that I think people wanted before. I understand that many people thought that the first was slower in tone compared the older film series. I can thinks of several scenes that I loved; the barrel ridding, escaping the spider webs, sneaking through the fisherman’s town, finding the door for the dwarves kingdom, and of course, waking the dragon Smaug.
Benedict Cumberbatch is terrifying as the dragon that is finally something that I’ve been waiting for; a monster that is so large that even having modern weapons would probably not kill it. The voice and the way he breaths fire is like going into Hell. Now the ending here isn’t the best part; the whole movie manages to live up to the hype by having great action all around, while taking us viewers back into Middle Earth. Once again, the place looks great. Rather then showing us more the same, a lot of the locations have something to do with the dark (the forest, towns, elf chambers, and the Lonely Mountain), so at least your getting something that haven’t seen from The Lord of The Rings).
I’ll give this five mountains of gold out of five. If you’re not a fan of The Hobbit or The Lord of The Rings, this is unlikely to sway you, as it continues it’s very fantasy-like tone. But even aside from that, the performances are great. The action is great. The design is great. What a fun holiday adventure!