The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug (2013)


Cast and Crew
Directed by : Peter Jackson
Produced by : Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
Screenplay by : Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Starring : Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom
Music by : Howard Shore
Cinematography : Andrew Lesnie
Edited by : Jabez Olssen
Running time : 161 minutes

All You Need to Know

I.M.C.F Review
Coming from the Director of 'LOR Trilogy', Peter Jackson's grandiose vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, reaches a crescendo with this thrilling second installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy. "Smaug" ignites the excitement missing from Jackson's sluggish first "Hobbit" flick, and the stunning visuals which were brilliant and often eye popping, cinematography, costuming, set design, effects -- make this thoroughly expected journey an enjoyable one, setting it apart as one of the most impressive fantasy films ever made. The New Zealand scenery is breathtaking.

When viewers last saw hobbit burglar Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, wonderful) and his dwarf companions, they were headed for the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the dwarf kingdom from the murderous dragon Smaug. Led by dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and guided by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the dwarves are a rag-tag lot that includes father-figure Balin (Ken Stott), robust Bombur (Stephen Hunter) and brothers Fili (Dean O'Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner), among others. The Dwarves have evolved beyond the ensemble of thinly-drawn comedy characters they were in the first movie. You finally see why they’ve been chosen to go on a dangerous mission to reclaim their gold from a fire-breathing dragon.

Unlike the first “Hobbit” installment, there’s no time for rollicking feasts of the kind that began “An Unexpected Journey.” Nor does this dark adventure have room for much humor. As the group's journey continues, the obstacles mount. A trek through the befuddling forest of Mirkwood leads to a clash with the aforementioned arachnids and, later, capture by an army of woodland elves. Among the elvish hosts are Legolas and feisty she-elf Tauriel. Getting much screen time in the new film, Tauriel and Legolas, are two characters interjected into Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” by the filmmakers. Legolas previously appeared in “The Lord of the Rings,” but Tauriel is an entirely new character.

A clever escape and surprise orc attack lead to a reluctant alliance between the elves and dwarves, and soon the party is well on its way to the small village of Laketown en route to the Lonely Mountain. Another ally arrives in Laketown, man Bard (Luke Evans), who helps the company finally reach the Lonely Mountain, where a confrontation with Smaug awaits. The greedy dragon from Tolkien's tale does not disappoint, especially as voiced by rising star Benedict Cumberbatch ("Star Trek Into Darkness"). Taken simply as a visual he’s a triumph, a beautiful piece of animation that looks every bit as real as Bilbo. The dragon became one of cinema’s great monsters, a deceptively playful side underpinned by the sort of malevolence and cruelty you can possess, when you exist at the top of the food chain.

If you like these movies, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re someone who complained about any of Jackson’s long running adaptations, you might want to skip it.
Visually, “The Desolation of Smaug” is simply outstanding, engaging and attention-holding bait for the third and final “Hobbit” movie. Jackson and his team deserve a wealth of credit for redeeming themselves after the disappointing first film, and doing so in a big way. Though the movie has a silent love story, generous alliance and certain many exciting scenes, you might get disappointed towards the end, when you will be asked to wait until next year to see what happens to Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf and the gang!! Finally, keep an ear out for Howard Shore's excellent score and especially English singer Ed Sheeran's "I See Fire" during the closing credits. It has a nice ring to it.

I.M.C.F Rating : 90/100
Direction : 9
Production Values : 10
Story/Plot : 8 : Longer play time and left some knots untied for Part 3!
Cast Performances : 9
Music : 8
Cinematography : 10
Editing/Screenplay : 9
Special Effects : 10
Dialogues : 8
Awe Moment(s) : 9 (Scenes involvin with Smaug and Hobbit's escape and Rescue of others!)

Ratings and Reviews From Popular Websites
8.1/10 - IMDb
4.1/5 - RottenTomatoes

For the casual but compelled moviegoer, The Desolation of Smaug is a fine improvement over the first offering. Tolkien aficionados may feel otherwise.
A terrific middle chapter with plenty of action, excitement and fun.
An entertaining adventure with some truly masterful moments, but they still fail to justify the nearly three-hour running time.

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