Review Roundup of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson Back in LOTR Form

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By arjun varma | December 7, 2013 6:16 PM EST

Lord of The Rings director Peter Jackson’s second part of The Hobbit series is being hugely appreciated by fans and critics alike. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey lacked the entertainment quotient primarily as there were just too many characters that needed introduction. A factor that could not be ignored and maybe Jackson decided to treat it as "taking a hit for the greater good". And that really seems to be paying off now.

According to Hollywood Reporter, nearly everything about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug represents an improvement over the first installment of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of J R R Tolkien's beloved creation.

The film's director Peter Jackson promised more excitement for Hobbit fans saying: "The good thing with the second movie is that you don't have to start the movie, you don't have to introduce characters, we're just dropping straight into the last film, it's the chapter where everything get more complicated, more danger and more excitement," according to a report in The Telegraph.

Here’s what critics are saying about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

The Plot

“Part two is almost entirely devoted to the dangerous expedition of 13 dwarves recruited by the wizard Gandalf with the aim of reinstating Thorin Oakenshield to his rightful place as monarch of the underground kingdom of Erebor, lost in the devastating battle that opened the first film,” says Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Cast

The THR review also primarily talks about the characters in the film: Ian McKellen's ever-imposing Gandalf bows out for a long stretch on other pressing issues. Martin Freeman's slowly flowering Bilbo Baggins also steps to the side through a middle stretch that provides time not only for Legolas (a very competent Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (a winning Evangeline Lilly, of TV's Lost), but for a significant layover in a port called Lake-town.

The central player here is Bard (Luke Evans, excellent), a barge man and trader.

Smaug seems much enamoured of the sound of his own voice. And a fine voice it is, supplied by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Visual Effects

Bill Desowitz of Thompson on Hollywood calls the dragon Smaug, "the greatest CG dragon ever created on screen", thanks to the wizards of Weta.

According to The Guardian, The barrel-chase down the river is a great sequence: a full-tilt headspinning action spectacular with orc-against-elf against dwarf-and-hobbit.

Final Verdict

Todd Gilchrist of The Wrap writes: “Triumphantly engaging in a way that rivals Jackson’s magnificent Two Towers— and best of all, it makes you eager to see the next film in a way that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey didn’t. Powerful and provocative, The Desolation of Smaug not only surpasses its predecessor but also stands on its own."

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