The second instalment in Peter Jackson‘s trilogy of adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) after escaping the Misty Mountains, accompanied by the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to The Lonely Mountain. As their epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor comes to an end, Bilbo and the dwarves must finally face the enormous and powerful dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), and find the treasured Arkenstone.
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book on its own here or my comparison of the film to the book here.
Although this second instalment isn’t quite the same adventure as the first, there are still a lot of fun moments, much more of the brilliantly crafted Middle Earth to see, and, let’s not forget, a terrifying dragon.
Benedict Cumberbatch voices Smaug perfectly, and although the film at one point feels like one long conversation between him and Bilbo, he’s created a lot of excitement for this lengthy middle chapter.
With plenty more chase scenes and Middle Earth characters to meet, The Desolation of Smaug is filled with lots of great action and some equally hilarious situations that the dwarves and Bilbo find themselves in the middle of.
There’s also a number of great additions to the cast, including Luke Evans as Bard, Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake Town, Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, and Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn. Orlando Bloom makes an appearance as Legolas, too.
The Desolation of Smaug is just as good as the first instalment and ends on a cliffhanger that will ensure you’ll be returning for the final chapter.