Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I celebrated New Year’s Eve by going to the cinema with my two best friends this afternoon. We had been looking forward to seeing ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ since seeing the first Hobbit film last year.

The journey of Bilbo and his dwarven companions continues as they try to escape the orcs. They take refuge in the house is Beorn the skinshifter, who offers them limited assistance. He dislikes dwarves, but hates orcs more.

A journey through Mirkwood goes badly wrong but Bilbo, and a dozen barrels come to their rescue. Kili makes a conquest if a romantic nature. Later, they make their way to Laketown, and from there their ultimate goal, Erebor – The Lonely Mountain – is only a stones throw, or a dragon’s wingflap, away.

I really enjoyed the film; it was an exciting adventure, funny and emotive. How anyone would not laugh at the dwarves escape from the Woodland elves, I don’t know.

The ending was rather abrupt; although it was already 161 minutes long, and I was really getting into the story when it ended. I think the film suffers because of this.

It was good to see Orlando Bloom return as Legolas. He and Lee Page’s Thranduil bounce off each other well, while the development of the love triangle between Legolas, Kili and Tauriel is amusing. The introduction of ‘non-canon’ elements – like the developing relationship mentioned – has irritated some Tolkien enthusiasts, but as with Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, the new romantic element is a harmless side story that adds interest to the plot.

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