The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Running Time: 161 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch
A sequel to 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this film continues with Bilbo (Freeman) and the dwarves’ journey to the Lonely Mountain. On their journey, Thorin (Armitage) and company then meet Thranduil (Pace) and his fellow elves at Mirkwood Forest. After overcoming their ordeals with the elves and the orcs, the party must then make their way to the Lonely Mountain where Bilbo must seek out the Secret Door which allows them access to the mounts of gold, and the Arkenstone, all of which are guarded by the dragon Smaug (Cumberbatch).
Jumping straight to the story from the previous film, Jackson was not hesitant with jumping straight into the action sequences, from giant spiders to orcs to the elegant, somewhat undefeatable elves, ending with the dragon Smaug. This installment is definitely jammed packed with action unlike the previous one, much like The Fellowship of the Ring. The special effects by Weta Workshop were incredible just like the previous films; it wasn’t hard to get caught up in the realm of Middle Earth, especially with Smaug. The detailed attention to the set design, the costume, jewelry, and weapons design was simply impeccable, and it always kept me in awe film after film. However, one of the things that were a tad disappointing was the script, there were a few moments or storyline that were unnecessary and you could tell it was simply included to prolong a scene or to make it even more entertaining or action-packed. The acting however was solid with a stellar cast as such, the actors playing the dwarves were able to stand out more especially with Kili, played by Aidan Turner, and with the return of veteran, Orlando Bloom who portrayed Legolas the elf, the movie in some ways felt complete. The choreography of the fight scenes was fun to watch, especially with the elves with their elegance and swiftness of their responses toward an attack.
All in all, the sequel had been a treat to watch with more action and a faster storyline than the previous installment. There’s still a constant improvement with the special effects, and the ever-impressive detail in the design of almost every aspect in the film. However, it became more apparent as to how the trilogy had become more of a money-making product which was a tad disappointing to see. One could only hope the finale to the trilogy would still be packed with action, but with more quality storyline and less unnecessary plot lines.
Rating: 7 out of 10