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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review

Reviewed by on Dec 13, 2013
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Our Kidzworld movie review re-joins Bilbo, the dwarves and their new friends and enemies in a struggle to take back the dwarf kingdom in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

By: Lynn Barker

Poor little Bilbo! When he joined the dwarf good guys to serve as a sneaky robber to get their precious family heirloom the Arkenstone back, he wasn’t ready to face the gigantic and fearful dragon Smaug who doesn’t want anyone messing with his golden pile of “bling”!

Bard speaks with LegolasBard speaks with Legolas

Continuing the Quest

After Gandalf the Grey (Sir Ian McKellen) and dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) recruit hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to help them take back the dwarf kingdom destroyed by fearful dragon Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) and regain the kingdom’s riches, the 13 dwarves travel East encountering a “skin-changer” named Beorn and a bunch of giant spiders in the forest of Mirkwood.

Bilbo in the home of skin-changer BeornBilbo in the home of skin-changer Beorn

Capture by the Elves

After their forest battle, the gang is grabbed by Elvenking Thranduil (Lee Pace) who is father to Legolas (Orlando Bloom from the “Rings” movies).  While they are in elf prison, the warrior head of the king’s guards, the beautiful Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) is attracted to “tall for a dwarf” Kili (Aidan Turner). After the dwarves escape down a river floating inside some empty barrels, Tauriel, followed by Legolas (who also “likes” her), decides the little guys’ cause is just.

Bard the Bowman

Outside Lake Town at the base of Lonely Mountain where the dwarf kingdom of Erebor once thrived, the gang meets Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) who smuggles them into town where they fight (alongside Legolas and Tauriel) and eventually shelter until the downtrodden townspeople see some value and future wealth in backing their venture.

Bard works with the dwarvesBard works with the dwarves

Checking in with Gandalf

In the meantime, Gandalf learns that a dark force known as the Necromancer is using the one-armed Orc Azog (Manu Bennett) to form a huge army to destroy Middle Earth  and this Necromancer is actually the biggest meany ever.. the dreaded Sauron (of the big red eye in the “Rings” movies).

Gandalf nears the lair of the NecromancerGandalf nears the lair of the Necromancer

Smaug’s Lair

Bilbo makes it to the inside of the mountain to find the giant dragon (who left Lake Town and the entire kingdom in fried “desolation” years before) sitting atop a huge mound of gold and the precious dwarves’ Arkenstone. It’s not going to be easy. Even when Bilbo uses “the ring” to turn invisible and the dwarves think of clever ways to destroy the fire breathing reptile, he bests them at every turn. Their attempt to drown him in molten metal using the massive forges inside caves fails and a scorched Smaug flies away to get even with Lake Town for daring to challenge him again!

Bilbo in Smaug's caveBilbo in Smaug's cave

Wrapping Up

This second in the “Hobbit” movie series is much more fast-moving than the first film which spent far too much time with the dwarves eating and joking at Bilbo’s place before even going on their quest. We are off and running in “Desolation” and the action, especially in very good 3-D, is exciting and very well-executed by the filmmakers.

Bilbo and Thorin make plansBilbo and Thorin make plans

Martin Freeman continues to be sympathetic as adventurer Bilbo as does Sir Ian McKellen as the stalwart Galdalf. The addition of Bard, played by hunky Luke Wilson is a plus and I liked that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) was added to tie the films together. The addition of new character Tauriel, played well by “Lost’s” Evangeline Lilly, was a plus in that I feel that a female warrior who can kick butt was badly needed in these guy-driven stories! Creating a slight love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas and the dwarf Kili just adds some softer “human” interest midst all the action and spectacle.

Dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner)Dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner)

Let’s talk Smaug! Wow, with talented Benedict Cumberbatch voicing and moving (motion capture) for him, he is eloquent and frightening! The giant dragon looks great as does his lair along with all the massive practical sets and the computer-generated forests, mountains etc. which blend perfectly into gorgeous, believable lands.

The dwarves enter their old kingdom in the mountainThe dwarves enter their old kingdom in the mountain

A bit of the story seems to need more explanation for Tolkien “newbies” but overall, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is a spectacular entertainment. We go 4 stars.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Rating: 4

Elf king  with son Legolas and warrior guard TaurielElf king with son Legolas and warrior guard Tauriel