“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues where the “The Hobbit” left off. We continue to watch our heroes, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) continue with their long quest to reclaim the kingdom of Erebor. Still in tow are exile Prince Thorin Oakenfield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarves, all eager to destroy Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), the fire-breathing dragon who stands in the way of Thorin regaining his throne. The plan is to have Bilbo sneak inside Smaug’s lair and steal a jewel which will unite the Dwarf armies.
Along the way there are challenges they encounter. One of them is Beorn, a skin-changer, who allows them to stay at his cottage only because he hates Orcs more than he hates dwarves. They also meet some carnivorous spiders in the Mirkwoods. One of my favorite scenes of the film is the river battle which includes the Orcs, the Elves, and the dwarves.
They also face some roadblocks from the corrupt ruler (Stephen Fry) of Laketown who doesn’t want his people to get any ideas of freedom. A welcomed edition is a new character, Tauriel, who does not appear in Tolkien’s book. Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), a warrior elf, accompanies Orlando Bloom on the adventure.
The special effects are amazing. The landscape is breathtaking and satisfying and definitely makes paying more for the 3D ticket worth it.
This sequel is more enjoyable, but you will have to wait until the end for the best part of the movie. It is a fitting grand finale that will leave you wanting more.
Run Time: 2 hr. 41 min.