The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company continues East, encountering along the way the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all — a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself — the Dragon Smaug.
This is the second movie in “The Hobbit” trilogy and contains a lot of action-packed scenes and the return of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) to the movie screen. It also features a lot of sword fights and, unfortunately, decapitations (more than in the first film). As I will get to, the violence is the one thing that is the factor in the film not getting our Dove Seal. The movie feels a bit padded in the middle but it does clock in at 161 minutes; but for those that love these books and films, the movie features some awesome cinematography and action sequences, including a battle against not just one, but several giant spiders. The scene of the dwarves going over some falls in barrels is also quite a scene to watch.
The plot thickens as the Dwarf heir to the throne, Thorin (Richard Armitage), and the other dwarves and the hobbit Bilbo continue their journey to Erebor where they intend to defeat the dragon Smaug right in his own lair in the Lonely Mountain. The fire-breathing dragon is a pretty menacing villain and he talks to boot. Gandalf goes off on his own journey for a time and is confronted with a powerful evil. The movie ends in a cliff hanger and those who want to see the conclusion will have to wait another year for the final film of the trilogy. Unfortunately, due to the heavy violence which includes the previously mentioned decapitations, and sword fights and stabbings, we are unable to award this movie our Dove Seal.