After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest--without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south?Written by
The Extended Edition that was made for the home theater market adds 25 minutes of additional footage. These include the following new or extended scenes:
At the Prancing Pony, Gandalf asks Thorin about his business in Bree. Thorin tells him that he is searching for Thrain, his father who was presumed dead after the Battle of Moria; Thrain has supposedly been seen again. Thorin also mentions that Thrain was wearing one of the seven Dwarf Lord rings when he disappeared.
After having spent the night in Beorn's house, the Dwarves are discussing how they can get past Beorn unseen; however, Gandalf assures them they will need Beorn's help. Gandalf goes with Bilbo to carefully introduce the group to Beorn, but the Dwarves mistake his gestures for a sign that they should come out of the house, much to Beorn's unpleasant surprise.
Upon leaving with Beorn's ponies, Beorn makes the group swear to free the horses before entering the forest. He then has a talk with Gandalf about Azog, the Necromancer at Dol Guldur, the tombs in the mountains (featuring a flashback with a voiceover by Galadriel) and a possible return of Sauron.
Gandalf warns the Dwarves not to disturb the water in Mirkwood, use only bridges, and be wary of illusions.
The Dwarves find the bridge in Mirkwood destroyed, so they cross the river with the use of vines hanging above the water. Bombur falls in the water and is asleep, so the other Dwarves need to carry him. They see a white stag, which Thorin tries to shoot unsuccessfully. Bilbo states this will bring bad luck.
The Master of Laketown and his aid Alfrid talk about Bard and their desire to get rid of his influence on the people of the town. As Alfrid serves the Master a plate of goat and ram's testicles to eat, they discuss a possibility to silence Bard.
While being smuggled into Laketown, the Dwarves are discovered. They fight off the guards with the help of the townsfolk. Braga, the captain of the guards, enters, and Bard bribes him into leaving by offering him a fancy piece of underwear for his wife.
Master and Alfrid are discussing an old prophecy that when the king of the mountain returns, the streets will run with gold.
Alfrid asks whether Thorin can be trusted to keep his word, prompting Bilbo to vouch for him.
The remaining Dwarves ask Alfrid to help the wounded Kili, but he coldly dismisses them.
Balin describes how the desolation of Smaug was once a lush woodland.
While at Dol Guldur, Gandalf is suddenly attacked by a Dwarf. After a brief scuffle, Gandalf recognizes his assailant as Thrain, and uses an enchantment to give him his memory back. Thrain mentions how he lost his finger and the Dwarf Lord ring during the Battle of Moria. He also warns Gandalf that no one should get into Erebor.
Gandalf and Thrain are attacked by Azog at Dol Guldur. Gandalf fights him off and they run away, only to be caught by the Necromancer, who uses black smoke tendrils to grab and kill Thrain.
Even though I formally thought "An Unexpected Journey" was a bit chipped off by quality from the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, due to its certain lack of seriousness the former Jackson Middle-Earth films had, I wasn't really disappointed by it. It was a different, more softer storyline, and under it had to have a different directorial approach. Going to see the second one, I had my worries if it's going to be on a dose less of action and excitement and more centered on the characters, which I always kind of felt myself, was a mistake for a purely adventure film, a road that many movies have taken on in sequels. Fortunately, it was nothing of a sort. "Desolation" gives a stronger adventure and enjoyment than the original Hobbit movie. Faster pace, beautiful sets, lovely score, costumes and most impressive CGI than ever before, with the comeback of one of the most beloved character of the original series, Legolas, will surely win over the audiences both fans of Tolkien's book and not, over the globe again this Christmas season. If anything, I'll definitely go catch it again. Thumbs up!
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