Dir. Peter Jackson
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the Newspaper version of this review at: The Thame Gazette
“Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous...”
After last year’s fun ‘Unexpected Journey’ the Lord of the Rings prequel bursts back onto the big screen in all its Hobbity goodness for more fantasy geek action with – ‘The Desolation of Smaug.’ And just who is Smaug? Why he is none other than J. R. R. Tolkien’s great dragon (voiced and even motion captured by the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch no less).
If you haven’t seen part one, you may well be a little lost as Director Peter Jackson offers no catch up / recap – rather the hero and titular hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is pressed immediately into action – and this time there is a lot of action!
"behold The Desolation of Smaug"
Middle-Earth has never looked so good, . This is a fully formed world with an incredibly rich history, intricate lore and a host of fantastic characters – and thanks to this being the follow-on film there is no need to waste time setting the scene.
The Hobbit 2 sees Halfling Bilbo - commissioned to be the designated burglar for a company of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) that are on a mission to reclaim their home but who need an infamous stone which is hidden among the hoard of jewels and gold amassed by the dragon Smaug. A what a dragon he is… Best. Dragon. Ever!!
Along the way the dwarves are hunted by an evil pack of orcs, run fouls of a mean bunch of giant spiders and are captured by the legendary wood elves. These various trials allow for some superb fights, adventures and full on action scenes – which will have your inner fantast nerd flipping out. The scenes of elves – including fan favourite Legolas who makes a welcome cameo – going all out in battle against orcs are some of the most exciting ever!
In addition there is also the awesome wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan), who brings his trademarked gravitas to the whole proceedings as he works his magic to try and thwart the larger growing threat of a great dark power – the pay-off of which we will not see until the Lord of The Rings itself.
New characters include the ‘skin-changer’ Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt) who spends his nights as a giant bear, female battle elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) – whose role wasn’t in the book and new heroic human Bard (Luke Evans).
"The 2 Guns prequel..."
The Desolation of Smaug is an all out fantasy epic which you need to see on the big screen – here’s looking forward to next year’s finale ‘Battle of the Five Armies’.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - I am fire, I am death!!)...
Awesomeness öööö – Elves steal the show but Smaug is magnificent!
Laughs ööö – some good funnies
Horror öö – not too nasty, orcs / spiders are a little scary for youngsters
Babes ööö – Evangeline Lilly makes elf ears sexy
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – the road goes on forever and ever...
"She looks pretty good without the elf ears too!"