The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second in the trilogy that is Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 classic, The Hobbit, and it has gone on to become the hit movie of the winter following it’s release in December 2013. With Ian McKellen (X-Men: Days of Future Past) back in the role of the legendary wizard Gandalf and Martin Freeman continuing his place as Bilbo Baggins it was another stunning recreation of the brilliance of Tolkien’s work from the team in New Zealand.
Released on the big screen on the 13th December 2013 on general in the UK and US, it’s got a pretty lengthy innings of three hours of fantasy fiction run time brilliance and fans of the series came out in droves during the wet and miserable Christmas holiday period. Building on the start of the adventure, which begin with 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the second in the series sees the the big G, Bilbo and the Company of Dwarfs get even closer to big smoking dragon in the centre of the Lonely Mountain.
Taking in everything from the gloom and spiders of Mirkwood and it’s Elvenking, Thranduil – played by Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy) – and his son Legolas – played once again by Orlando Bloom – right the way through Lake Town and up to the entrance of Erebor and beyond into Smaug’s base of desolation. It also manages to cover Gandalf’s quest to Dol Guldur in a bid to deal with the Necromancer that was hinted at in the first film as he leaves Bilbo and the Dwarfs to make it to the foot of the mountain. It’s a detailed account of the middle section of the original story and while the original book is a whole lot shorter than The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson has made the extended film adaptation work well.
While Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek: Into Darkness) was only a bit-part player in An Unexpected Journey, he’s much more prominent in The Desolation of Smaug, as he plays the Dragon himself, as well as bringing a bit more flesh to the bones of the malevolent Necromancer. It continues the on screen duo he’s already built up with Martin Freeman, thanks to their work together recently on Sherlock Series 3, adding even more fuel to their fan girl fire.
The Company of Dwarfs are exactly as they were in terms of casting as in the first movie, with Richard Armitage in the the role of Thorin Oakenshield and James Nesbitt as Bofur. They’re all joined brilliantly by Stephen Fry, who was been confirmed as the Master of Lake-town, and the amazing Evangeline Lilly (Lost) as the Elvenking’s chief of guards, Tauriel. On top of that Sylvester McCoy (AKA the 7th Dr Who) will be back as Gandalf’s fellow wizard, Radagast the Brown.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released on Real 3D, HFR 3D and iMax 3D, as well as the standard 2D version of the film. Find out more about the movie and how well we rated it in our review page.