The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Movie Review

Matt BlakeStarred Page By Matt Blake, 17th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Adventure

How does the 2nd Hobbit movie stack up against the first, will your kids enjoy this movie, is it worth the price of a ticket? I'll answer these questions and more, all without spoilers as I review The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Over all its a 9.5 out of 10!

This weekend the second film in The Hobbit trilogy opened to excited moviegoers across the land. Some folks had been disappointed by the first film and most were hoping for a thrilling adventure as Gandalf, Bilbo, and the Dwarves got closer to the Lonely Mountain.

Let me tell you, fans were not disappointed! This movie was as exciting to watch as it was beautiful to behold. The action was bigger, the story moved faster, and the characters were believable. Desolation of Smaug is truly a huge epic, and is raising The Hobbit Trilogy to the heights we enjoyed with The Lord of The Rings.

There are a few slow moving scenes, but they aren't uninteresting. The high points in the movie are definitely the action sequences, the huge scenes (which we have come to expect from Jackson's films in this genre), and the Dragon, Smaug, himself. The only bad things I have to say about this movie are related to how well the story lines up with the book, which I will cover shortly.

The acting was outstanding. Ian McKellen's portrayal of Gandalf, the wizard, has always been one of my favorite cinema characters. Martin Freeman as Bilbo is simply wonderful. Freeman brings to life one of the most beloved characters from literature in a real and believable way. Evangeline Lilly (Real Steel, Lost) was a pleasant introduction as Tauriel, one of the Elves, but her acting seemed a bit forced at times, though that could just be how she works. And of course, Orlando Bloom, returning to his role as Legolas; and while this was a departure from the books, it was a welcome addition. But, the most amazing acting was handled by Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) as he voiced the dragon Smaug. Cumberbatch also does the voice of the Necromancer character, but his voice, as the part of Smaug, literally stole the show. A larger than life job playing a larger than life character.

All told, it is a very exciting adventure movie that most movie goers should enjoy. And while it is quite long at 2 hours 41 minutes, the story moves at a brisk pace and by the end you will not want it to be over.

The Movie vs The Book

The trend of hugely popular movies coming from popular books is the norm these days (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Etc.), and so just like The Lord of The Rings movies had rabid fans of the books lined up to see the movies the same can be said of The Hobbit movies. I was a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien's books from a young age and I was very excited for the Rings movies and even more so at the announcement of the Hobbit films. But what happens when a story that you have loved for years suddenly changes right before your eyes?

You sit back and enjoy it, that's what happens! I understand how Hollywood works, and that just because it worked for the book, doesn't mean it will work for the movies. Once you resign yourself to the fact that you are seeing a movie and not a book, and you just appreciate the amazing film you are seeing, enjoy that it is based on a story and characters that you love, but it is different; then it can be quite enjoyable. And while any story lines that vary from the books will likely upset Tolkien purists, I found them quite enjoyable, particularly the added Elf parts (ie the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas).

Should you take your kids to see this film?

I have 5 children, ages 14, 12, 6, 5, and 3. And it is often a struggle to know what movies will be ok or enjoyable for them to see. Obviously they want to see all the popular movies that they see on TV and that are talked about at school. Of course I don't take my kids to see any R-rated films, and I carefully screen all PG-13 and PG movies. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is rated "PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images". And I would say that the rating is spot on. If your kids can do a big scary dragon and not freak out, and you don't mind some pretty serious battle scenes, then go ahead and take them. There is no foul language and no sexual content at all in the film, for which I am happy! I would be perfectly agreeable to letting my 4 oldest kids see this film, in the theater.

That's a Wrap!

Bottom line here, If you are looking for a very enjoyable spectacle and an amazing adventure on the big screen then this movie will delight you. Be ready to watch almost 3 hours fly by and you are immersed into Peter Jackson's version of Middle-Earth.


Hobbit 2, Hobbit The Desolation Of Smaug, Hobbitt, Movie Reviews, Smaug, The Lord Of The Rings

Meet the author

author avatar Matt Blake
I am a creative and eclectic artist. From graphic design and photography to writing and spray paint, I work in a variety of mediums. My writing focuses my hobbies: Design, music, travel and food.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
18th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you for this great review and welcome to this fab site...I saw the movie at a screening and I have to say I adore Tolkien but I think as with so many films this has lost its essence of magic and mystery and there is too much fighting ..I know lots of folk will disagree with me and that is fine but I remember the Lord of the Rings that swept us away into magicland

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you for a detailed review. I wait for it to come to my city - siva

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