The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict
Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lily, and Orlando Bloom.
It’s a new year, which means I’ve once again set the goal of finally
reading The Lord of the Rings. While I often find LOTR to be
a tough slog, I find The Hobbit to be a much more fun and breezy read, and have read it several times. So I was curious to see where
the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy was headed, as it
contains most of my favourite scenes from the book. Would it
continue the pretty good first film and continue being pretty good?
We catch up with Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, and Thorin and the
band of dwarves as they continue on their journey to the Lonely
Mountain. They seek to liberate the mountain from the dragon
Smaug, and reclaim it as the dwarf homeland. It’s a journey
that takes them through a haunted forest, into the realm of the Wood
Elves (where they meet up with Lord of the Rings favourite Legolas),
and a trip down the river to Laketown, where they meet up with Bard the Bowman. Meanwhile, Gandalf sets out on his own to track down
the source of a great evil that’s growing in power. Will the
dwarves make it to the Lonely Mountain and defeat Smaug? What
is the great evil that’s amassing? And will we have to wait
for the third movie to get any real answers?
What I Liked
Lots of good stuff in the film. I was glad to see the wine
barrel sequence. One of my favourite parts of the book, here,
it was greatly expanded to be a pretty good action sequence.
There’s some good character moments with our heroes, as Bilbo
once again shows that his unique perspective one the world makes him an asset. And Smaug the Dragon, in all his glory, is a
spectacular sight to behold.
What I Didn’t Like
The ending. As I was chatting with a friend of mine, with the
last film, and even with all of the Lord of the Rings films, they were
able to bring each film to its own satisfying conclusion. But
this one ends on such an abrupt note that the ending doesn’t satisfy at all. I was also a little dissatisfied with the parts with
Beorn the Skinchanger. It’s actually quite a lighthearted
moment in the book, and here, it becomes o so serious.
Too much padding, an unsatisfying ending, and so many characters that it gets tough to keep track of what’s going on. But still,
lots of good stuff to be found. Bring on Part 3! I
long for the Battle of the Five Armies.