The unexpected journey that Bilbo, the dwarves, and Gandalf undertake continues in Desolation of Smaug with new obstacles, special effects, and a cliffhanger ending leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. This action-packed adventure is filled with far more suspense and thrilling action than its predecessor and the integration of the story line is seamless, as audiences never feel left behind.

'Desolation of Smaug' unveils the much-anticipated animated dragon; fans were given a sneak preview to the end of the last 'Hobbit' film.
‘Desolation of Smaug’ unveils the much-anticipated animated dragon; fans were given a sneak preview to the end of the last ‘Hobbit’ film.

Our story picks up with Bilbo and his friends making a valuable ally and traveling into the dark woods home to wood elves and other surprises. In this movie Gandalf leaves the gang behind for his own agenda (which as we know from Lord of the Rings, he almost always has). However, this allows the movie to focus more on the individual characteristics of the dwarves and not solely on Bilbo. Don’t worry: the story switches back and forth to accommodate both perspectives, and unlike other movies where viewers become upset at the constant switching, the story flows well.

The biggest fear of the Hobbit movie was Legolas, because although he is a beloved character, his relevance to the story is questionable. He had some well-rehearsed fight scenes that didn’t really take away from the story too much and through the creation of a love-triangle he will return in the third movie (and not just as a cameo).  As for the love triangle created between, Legolas, Tariel (an elf created by movie producers), and Kili (one of the dwarfs among Bilbo’s party), it was not part of the original story and despite fans’ frustrations it was to be expected. The story still advances at the same pace and the adaptation is used effectively. There were other parts that fans may recognize as false but the overall aspect is still correct and some, such as extra fight scenes, are appreciated.

There were many suspenseful parts in the movie and the story moved at a fast enough pace that there was no yawning in the theatre, but everyone was waiting for the dragon. The highly anticipated dragon scene definitely lived up to expectations with a stunning-looking depiction of the creature, but it still accommodated comedy as Bilbo finds several ways to avoid being killed, some even through flattery. The dragon has the longest action scene in the movie that was also the most exciting, and his end scene told us that he would be appearing in the next film.

The sequel to the Hobbit was definitely a hit that Tolkien fans will remember; its action, suspense, humor–and did I mention dragon?–made it quite the adventure. But movie producers created along with several other details, some things that fans will recognize to be too much. But overall, it’s worth the money for serious fans and moviegoers alike.  Score: 8/10.

Logan Conrad/Staff Writer

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