The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

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The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson (2013)

154min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Martin Freeman soldiers on along a bumpy road as Bilbo Baggins, but is pushed even further into the background, in this second part of Peter Jackson's long drawn-out adaptation of the JRR Tolkien classic. Even vengeful dwarf Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), who dominated the first film, is made to look one-dimensional on this leg of the journey. The attention to detail is once again all in the visual realisation of Middle-earth and some extraordinary action scenes, including a sticky situation with giant spiders and Bilbo's close encounter with the evil Dragon Smaug (boomingly voiced by Freeman's Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch). And, thankfully, Jackson has toned down the Day-Glo brightness of the first instalment for a softer, more traditional storybook aesthetic. Evangeline Lilly is a welcome addition to the story as elvish warrior Tauriel, who brings some much needed heart and urgency to the story, caught between a brooding Legolas (Orlando Bloom, returning on good form) and flirty dwarf Kili (Poldark's Aidan Turner). But the dramatic tension comes in fits and starts, and for that reason the film can be a frustrating watch, although Jackson does succeed in building anticipation for the final chapter.

Summary

Concluded.

Cast & Crew

Bilbo Baggins Martin Freeman
Gandalf the Grey Ian McKellen
Thorin Oakenshield Richard Armitage
Smaug / Necromancer Benedict Cumberbatch
Tauriel Evangeline Lilly
Galadriel Cate Blanchett
Legolas Orlando Bloom
Bard the Bowman Luke Evans
Kili Aidan Turner
Balin Ken Stott
Dwalin Graham McTavish
Bofur James Nesbitt
Fili Dean O'Gorman
Thranduil Lee Pace
Beorn Mikael Persbrandt
Radagast Sylvester McCoy
Master of Laketown Stephen Fry
Alfrid Ryan Gage
Hilda Blanca Sarah Peirse
Albert Dreary Peter Jackson
Bain John Bell
Sigrid Peggy Nesbitt
Tilda Mary Nesbitt
Azog Manu Bennett
Bolg Lawrence Makoare
Narzug Ben Mitchell
Fimbul Stephen Ure
Galion Craig Hall
Elros Robin Kerr
Lethuin Eli Kent
Director Peter Jackson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Violence. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Dec 2013
Drama