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The Hobbit, like many sagas, gave us a world with rich characters and an intriguing story. The first entry, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, began a creative tale of a Hobbit whose journey would change everything. The sequel, Desolation of Smaug continues where the first left off, following Bilbo Baggins and his dwarven allies on their journey to reclaim the Lonely Mountain.
This newest entry was as entertaining as I hoped it would be. It was suspenseful to see the dwarves race down the river as they were being chased by the orcs. The fight scenes were well choreographed; the siege of Lake Town was tense and exciting. As always, the scenery was beautiful, and every destination our heroes arrived at was gorgeous.
I for one was thrilled to see all the returning characters. The cast was spectacular. Martin Freeman was great once again as Bilbo, the most reluctant hero. Richard Armitage showed off more of his acting chops giving life to Thorin’s changing character, not necessarily for the better. Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, a warrior Elf who served a romantic interest for both Legolas and Kili, was also entertaining to see on screen. Another great addition was Bard (Luke Evans), a mysterious man who may hold the key to stopping Smaug.
Despite the ensemble of amazing actors and actresses, one that stood out to me was Benedict Cumberbatch, who had dual roles as Smaug and the Necromancer. Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum, is know for using his voice and a motion-capture suit to bring out the character. Cummberbatch also utilized his voice, really bringing life to the greedy, fearsome dragon. It would prove to be an interesting debate as to whether or not Cummberbatch is better skilled as an actor or a voice actor.
For the most part, the story flowed well, though it did seem to drag at times. It’s understandable considering the need to setup for the third and final entry. The movie does run at almost three hours, so be prepared for a long sit. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is a blast to watch, but it’s a long one.
I think all fans of Fantasy will be pleased by this entry. Great action, interesting characters and some fine acting drive this film. The pace may feel slow at times and the length may test your patience, but hang with the film. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I can’t wait to see what the third entry will bring. I’m rooting for our heroes to defeat Smaug and live happily ever after. Or at least for the next sixty years until the “War of the Ring.”
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