Movie review: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (2013)


‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ is the second instalment of a three-part film franchise of ‘The Hobbit’ of which the story took place sixty years before the events in the highly successful ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Directed by Peter Jackson, it first started with ‘An Unexpected Journey’ in 2012. Quite a great start and we caught a glimpse of the terrifying Smaug dragon that took over the Lonely Mountain from the dwarves kingdom in the last few seconds of the film.

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Now, in ‘The Desolation of Smaug’, we finally got to see the full mighty appearance of the dragon and it’s even talking, but that is all only shown in the last quarter of the film. So you (especially for kids) have to wait a bit long for it. The story continues from the group of dwarves led by Thorin, the King along with the hobbit (burglar), Bilbo Baggins and the wizard, Gandalf the Grey in the dangerous adventure as their homeland, Lonely Mountain is getting near. What I’m looking forward from it is basically how exciting the adventure can turn out to be and where it leads to, and in the end, I’m quite pleased with the amount of actions and thrills offered.

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From the Mirkwood Forest, then to the Elf Kingdom, and then down a river to Lake-town before finally reaching Gale and the Lonely Mountain, the group frequently faced different obstacles (giant spiders, imprisonment by Elves, attack by Orcs, etc) from one setting to another, which ends with Smaug itself that awaken in the pile of countless treasures. However, I still find that the movie is excessively long and boring in between here and there, where I find that some parts with not much significance can be removed. Fortunately, there are still some funny light moments to get us entertained in the midst of the part intense, part boring journey they had. Nevertheless, the storyline goes well and we got to see the return of Legolas, master of bow and arrows.

This is a big-budget production and so the visual effects and musical score offered are excellent as expected. There are several breathtaking scenes involving state-of-the-art CGI, and of course the dragon itself looks very realistic. As for performance by the casts, everyone contributed fairly. New characters added actions and interest to the show too, particularly Bard, Tauriel and Legolas. Thorin is a bit bad here for forcing Bilbo to get the Arkenstone despite knowing Smaug is nearby. And on the other hand, I find it illogical and weird to see that the fierce dragon talking to Bilbo for such a long time and entertaining him pointlessly. However, I like the part Bilbo tries to keep glorifying the dragon to calm it down.

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In the end, the group of dwarves whom successfully entered the Lonely Mountain failed to contain and kill Smaug, which stumbles out of it and looking forward to wreak havoc to the nearby Lake-town before screen fades to black. What an ending. This makes me very eager to follow up with its finale next year; ‘There and Back Again’. Generally, this is a good adventure movie with a lot of story to tell but a bit of excessively long (taking over 2 hours and 30 minutes), which nevertheless delivered with astonishing visuals and some exciting scenes. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ a total of 7.0. It still falls slightly below my expectation.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).

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One Response to “Movie review: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (2013)”

  1. Good review Vincent. While it’s a bit better than the first, it’s not by that much. Maybe just by a hair or two.

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