Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Middle chapter The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an improvement on predecessor An Unexpected Journey, capturing the spirit of the original Lord of the Rings films.

Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, wizard Gandalf and the company of dwarves continue on their quest to reclaim Erebor, homeland of Thorin, from dragon Smaug. The group face a perilous journey through Mirkwood Forest and beyond…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug sets a good pace almost immediately. Much of the scene-setting was taken care of in An Unexpected Journey, which allows for this instalment to brim with action and progression. There is certainly more going on in this film.

Director Peter Jackson has, as ever, created an immersive fantasy world. The locations are quintessential fantasy, as are the characters that inhabit them.

With a running time of two hours and forty minutes, there is ample time for the narrative to unfold. The world that Jackson has created is so removed from reality that it is difficult to know how much time has passed. Nonetheless, The Desolation of Smaug does not rush the journey, nor the screen time of its title character.

The dragon Smaug offers a formidable opponent to Bilbo and company. Even before any encounter takes place, there is sufficient myth-making to build a reputation and sense of apprehension. Elsewhere, Legolas makes a welcome return; his presence is particularly gratifying in the action sequences.

Production values in The Desolation of Smaug are superb. The 3D is utilised seamlessly, and effects appear authentic. The score is also effective and successfully evokes the atmosphere of the earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy. Performances are good throughout, with Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen reprises their roles with energy. Benedict Cumberbatch is a good choice for the voice of Smaug, while Luke Evans is a decent addition to the cast.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an adventure-filled film that leaves the audience eager for the final chapter.

Stuff To Look At

Posters galore this week! Disney’s animated short Get a Horse gets a screening, a trailer for Meet The Millers, a clip from The Heat and more…

Get a Horse

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Mickey Mouse is back! Well, kind of. On Tuesday 11th June 2013 Disney unveil the never-before seen animated short Get a Horse. The hand-drawn short features Mickey Mouse and the voice of Walt Disney. It is being screened at Annecy Animation Festival in France, no word yet on if Get a Horse will become available widely.

The Heat

Sandra Bullock’s character has some uncomfortable questions to answer in this clip from upcoming buddy cop movie The Heat. Also starring Melissa McCarthy, the film is director Paul Feig’s follow up to Bridesmaids. The Heat is released in UK cinemas on 31st July 2013.

Planes

Planes

Here is the latest poster for Planes, the upcoming animated feature from Disney. The trailer for the film can be viewed here. Planes is being advertised as from ‘above the world of Cars‘, and the parallels between the films are clear. Planes hits UK cinemas on 16th August 2013.

We’re The Millers

We’re The Millers reunites Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in a new comedy. Jennifer Aniston is certainly ageing well. We’re The Millers, which also stars Emma Roberts and Will Poulter, is released in the UK on 23rd August 2013.

The World’s End

The World's End Poster

Here is one of the newly-released character poster for The World’s End. The film reunites director Edgar Wright with stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film also stars Martin Freeman and Rosamund Pike. The World’s End hits UK screens on 19th July 2013.