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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Film Review

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by Juran Hakim (subscribe)
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Published July 10th 2014

Another filmic epic directed by Peter Jackson featuring a hobbit named Bilbo (Martin Freeman)...

a clan of homesick dwarfs...

Thorin and throng

and of course a wizard named Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen).

On an adventure to reclaim Erobor (the dwarves homeland) from the scaled clutches of a fire breathing dragon named Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second installment in The Hobbit trilogy based on the novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Peter Jackson also directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy where such notable characters like Frodo (Elijah Wood), Aragon (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) can be seen on screen.

Through a dense forest populated by giant spiders and sword wielding elves, over mountain passes running from bloodthirsty orcs, and into the hoard of the dangerous Smaug where death beckons as surely as the blink of an eye.

A palpable sense of escapism is felt throughout The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is often experienced with the latter J.R.R. Tolkien film adaptations directed by Peter Jackson and rightly so; the scale of such a script and plot garners an ethereal sentiment. Fans of science-fiction/fantasy films will certainly flock to go see this film whether it meets expectations or not.

The general reception to The Desolation of Smaug was somewhat lacking, undoubtedly because of the poor attempt at the first Hobbit film, which left a reproachful taste in the mouth. It is obvious to note that Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy led towards the decision of turning The Hobbit into a three part trilogy, mirrorring LotR and hopefully it's success.

In addition to this, entire new subplots and scenes were added and blended into the narrative; certain parts from Tolkien's The Hobbit were eschewed altogether such as the importance and concentration of the character Bilbo, whereas in the film Bilbo receives minimal screen time. The injection of an emerging romance between the elf Tauriel and one of the dwarfs is also another example of Jackson marking his own stamp on Tolkien's novel.

The lush contrast of colour, incredible (albeit a little whimsical) fight scenes, the appearance of Legolas

Legolas (Orlando Bloom)

and of course the glimpse of Smaug in all his glory is enough to tempt any fantasy enthusiast. This is not Jackson's best work, but The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a must watch all the same.

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