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A slight improvement over the first entry to the trilogy. It might not be Lord of the Rings, but its pretty damn entertaining!
Lord of the Rings has become the bible for the geek community. Now I'll admit, that I have never read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, but I am huge fan of the films. I adore Peter Jackson award-winning trilogy and really dug the hell out of the first Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Now this year we've gotten the second installment in this trilogy, which is called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Before you see this film, you need to do your homework and see the previous installment or you will be completely lost. The film picks up where we left off last time. Bilbo and the Dwarfs are on the mountains and the movie goes from their. In this film the they are back on their quest to take back the city of Erebor and to do that they must take down the dragon known as Smaug, voiced by the menacing Benedict Cumberbatch.
When it comes to acting in this film, it is excellent! Martin Freeman is still awesome as Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage is so great as Thorin, the leader of the dwarfs. Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch join the cast for this installment and are both fantastic, especially Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch voices Smaug the dragon, and gives one of the best performances I have seen by a voice actor. Ian McKellen is wonderful as Gandalf but it is disappointing to see that he isn't in the film as much as he was in the first film.
It seems that archery has become something big in media all of the sudden, with characters like Katniss Everdeen, Daryl Dixon and Hawkeye. Back in 2001-2003, the most bad-ass archer in media was Legolas and he is back in this film. Orlando Bloom was awesome back the Lord of the Rings trilogy and he is still equally as awesome in this Hobbit film.
When it comes to special effects, this film does not skimp on them. WETA Digital has been the effects force behind some of the most visually impressive films of the last decade like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Avengers and much more. They do a phenomenal job on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, by making this world look beautiful and by creating Smaug, who I would say is one of the most visually stunning CGI characters of all-time. For a huge-ass CGI dragon, he looks pretty damn great.
The film is full of action-packed scenes from beginning to end. Peter Jackson is able to juggle action and drama very well and everything flows perfectly. You can tell Jackson really has heart in these films and it defiantly shows in this installment in the franchise. The movie is paced very well for a two hour and forty minute film.
Now I do have a problem with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The first fifteen minutes or so of this film didn't totally have me. One thing about the Lord of the Rings trilogy and even the first Hobbit film was that from the start you know you are in the world of Middle-Earth, that's not the case in this one. It took me a couple minutes to really get me back into this world. I might be the only person who thinks this, but it was honest problem for me.
One word that can describe this film is "epic". 'Desolation of Smaug' really is an epic film that improves on many things that were wrong with its predecessor but does have some little issues. When it comes to good things in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, it is full-of-them. The acting, action, effects and story of the film are great. Even if this film wasn't a good film, I would still be excited for the next one and I am very excited. When this film ends, it gets you even more excited for the next film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again due out December 17, 2014. I had a great time with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and I hope you check it out because it is truly a great time at the movies!