The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug

Jays Rating:
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The J.R.R. Tolkien saga continues with the second action-fantasy film about middle Earth called, The Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug. When we last saw our hero, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) he succeeded in obtaining a magical ring that can make him invisible. Bilbo and a magician named Gandolf (Ian McKellen) along with a warrior and heir to the throne named Thorin (Richard Armitade) and 12 other dwarfs continue on their quest to the Lonely Mountain to find the dragon, Smaug. First they meet a “skin changer” who becomes a bear and chases them into his own home where they make plans for the future. (I know- it doesn’t sound like it makes much sense.) From that point Gandolf strikes out on his own while Bilbo and the dwarfs continue into the Black Forrest of Mirkwood and are captured by giant spiders and evil elves. (Don’t you hate those evil elves running around your house!) Of course, Bilbo saves them both times and Thorin pushes them on to the Lonely Mountains. Bilbo sneaks into Smaug’s lair where he tries to hide until he can kill him. (Even if I were invisible, I would have sent Thorin in first since he wants to be king.) The middle film in any trilogy has the most difficult time maintaining the expectations from the first film. It’s serves as the transition between the first and last films, with very little character development and usually an abrupt ending. That’s exactly what happens in this situation with action hurdling from one scene to the next. That doesn’t mean this is a bad film; it is very well made with director Peter Jackson demanding great performances from his actors and a sound track that will have you humming along. Of course, I couldn’t see the 3D effects, but my wife said it looked great. Whether you enjoy fantasy or you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, you will probably love this film. (If not, you may have a hard time staying awake for over 2 and a half hours.) This film doesn’t have the spark the first one had and I’m dropping my grade a little to a B- rating.