Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

If you remember back to my review of The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey, you may remember that I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it. I Felt it was far too long with far too little happening – a lot of running around for seemingly no point. When I was gently persuaded (read: dragged to it by my boyfriend) to see it, I settled down with the expectation of another two and a half hours of boredom.

Following on from An Unexpected Journey, we meet up with Bilbo and the gang of Dwarves on their way to the Lonely Mountain (all that running around in the first one and they still didn’t get where they were aiming for!).Through giant spider filled Mirkwood Forest and onto Laketown via a damp detour in the Elven wood, Bilbo and ten of the Dwarves make it to the Lonely Mountain and come face to face with the fearsome Smaug.

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Considering I was desperately bored through the first film, it couldn’t have been more different with this one. This time around I couldn’t have been more disappointed with the film ending. I got so into the story that I could have happily carried on for another two and a half hours to see what would happen. Not only is the story engaging and full of action, but the script is full of laughs. The barrel scene has to be one of my favourite scenes of 2013, making me laugh the whole way through as well as being completely action packed.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield put in stellar performances but everyone was overshadowed by the sheer spectacle that is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug. For an animated dragon, Smaug has the best screen presence of all the characters. The animation is spectacular, making Smaug too like the gigantic, terrifying beast he’s meant to be. That coupled with Cumberbatch’s booming voice set Smaug up to be one of the best cinematic surprised. As Smaug was mostly kept under wraps until release, it was nice to have such a spectacular surprise of his reveal.

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Considering I couldn’t wait for An Unexpected Journey to finish, I could have happily carried on watching this film straight into the next. Instead, I have to wait another year before the next installment – I’m intrigued to see whether the last film will follow in the same vein of The Desolation of Smaug or fall back into the plodding pace of An Unexpected Journey.

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