Title: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (The Hobbit #2)

Director: Peter Jackson

J.R.R. Tolkien, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, and Peter Jackson

In theaters: December 13, 2013 from Warner Brothers

Genre: Fantasy, Action-Adventure

Rating: PG-13

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The film 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 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 Mirkwood Forest.After escaping capture by the dangerous Woodland 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 before, 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.

We saw The Desolation of Smaug at the theater yesterday. Quick warning, go to the restroom first, or don’t get a drink, because it’s a long movie, including previews it’s probably three hours. We chose to watch it the regular version, not the 3D.  Amber’s not a fan of 3D and besides the 3D showing was at 8, which is late for a school night, so I have no idea how the 3D worked. I would like to imagine that some of the more epic scenery was gorgeous in 3D, but it’s probably more likely that they concentrated on flying orc limbs and Smaug.

I’m not going to compare the movie to the book. They are just two distinct things, so much of the movies are added in. To be honest, I don’t really remember the book, it’s been ages since I read it, but Amber’s reading it now and she will give you a list of things that were “wrong,” just ask her. But she loves Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, and with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing Smaug, she was willing to overlook the differences.

My main complaint is that it’s a middle movie in a trilogy – I just don’t like them. They have no real beginning or end. I take that back, some trilogies are three self-contained movies and those I’m okay with, but the trilogies that take three movies to tell one complete story tend to annoy me, especially when I think they could have told the story in less. I’m also terrible at movies where the people I’m watching it with remember the story and know what’s going to happen, because I always want to ask them and they keep shushing me. (Sorry David.)

Setting aside the middle movie issues, I enjoyed The Desolation of Smaug. It’s got plenty of action and some sexy men. There are some flat-out funny moments too. I like the touch of romance between an elf and the handsomest of the dwarves. The other bad guy, the necromancer, is creepy and I have to admit that I liked Smaug, even if he does talk a bit too much. When will characters learn to stop talking and just kill the person, or hobbit as the case may be?

It’s a fun adventure, definitely worth seeing, as long as you’re not a purist. And now a year until the ending.

I almost forgot to mention, the song that accompanies the final credits, “I See Fire” is gorgeous. Hang around and listen to it.


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