THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG - What Are The Critics Saying?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey wasn't loved by everyone, but it did still go on to earn over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Does similar success lie in store for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Hit the jump to find out what critics are saying!
While An Unexpected Journey had plenty of bucolic charm, it did, for a Middle-earth film, feel oddly inconsequential. The Desolation Of Smaug remedies that. Moody, urgent and, for want of a better word, Ringsier, it’s a much more satisfying film. If anything, it dispenses with early events with something approaching impatience: Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt), the aforementioned bear-man, is left behind before we’ve really had a chance to savour his peculiar brand of beastly intensity (though no doubt he’ll be back to claw up baddies in the Battle Of Five Armies), and the same goes for Mirkwood’s hallucinatory boughs, which have the company tripping balls in a variety of amusing ways. Middle-earth's got its mojo back. A huge improvement on the previous instalment, this takes our adventurers into uncharted territory and delivers spectacle by the ton. And in case you were wondering, yes, someone manages to say the title as dialogue.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a rollicking piece of epic entertainment, superior to its predecessor technically and dramatically. It atones for the rather lackluster first film, and generates excitement for next year's concluding chapter of the trilogy, The Hobbit: There And Back Again. If you were disappointed with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the film you've been waiting for. It's a breathlessly told, action-packed crowd-pleaser that restores the luster of the saga for those underwhelmed by its predecessor and leaves you excited for the final chapter in the trilogy.
The Desolation of Smaug is a cheerfully entertaining and exhilarating adventure tale, a supercharged Saturday morning picture: it's mysterious and strange and yet Jackson also effortlessly conjures up that genial quality that distinguishes The Hobbit from the more solemn Rings stories. The absurdity is winning: you're laughing with, not laughing at. For me, it never sagged once in its mighty two hour 40 minutes running time and the high-frame-rate projection for this film somehow looks richer and denser than it did the last time around. Maybe I'm just getting used to it. Jackson has shown that he is an expert in big-league popular movie-making to rival Lucas and Spielberg. His Smaug, with its fight scenes, chase spectaculars, creepy creatures and secret stone doors opening with a grinding noise, is something to set alongside the Indiana Jones films.
SOURCE: The Guardian
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. Beginning with the blessing of not being stuck with a bunch of hungry and thirsty dwarves in Bilbo Baggins' hut for a half-hour at the outset, 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 “unexpected journey” launched in last Christmas' box-office behemoth becomes the heart of the matter this time around, making for plenty of peril, warfare, theme-park-ride-style escapes and little-guy courage. For Jackson and Warner Bros., it's another movie, another billion.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
The tone is one hundred percent Jackson – a kind of thundering gloominess, cut with the occasional glint of Discworld mischief. Jackson and his co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, have decapitated bodies twitching on the ground, and a captured dwarf leering at a female elf: “Aren’t you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.” Maybe this really is what a lot of people want to see from a film version of The Hobbit, but let’s at least accept that Tolkien would probably not have been among them.
SOURCE: The Telegraph
Clearer and more engaging than its predecessor, this second installation in the “Hobbit” trilogy deftly brings out the human side of dwarves and elves while upping the action quotient. If “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was a single-serving tribute to the fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien book that inspired it, its follow up, “The Desolation of Smaug,” offers a nod to the uninitiated moviegoing audiences that made a prequel trilogy possible. Eschewing the kitchen-sink THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGminutiae of the first installment (or maybe just having used all of it up) Peter Jackson creates a rousing, immersive sequel that offers the same sort of sweeping action — and more crucially, emotional engagement — that helped the “Rings” films become a cultural phenomenon, regardless whether or not you were familiar with the source material.
SOURCE: The Wrap
Fans of the book will be awaiting several key episodes that serve as highlights: a brief stop-off for breakfast with skin-changing bear-man Beorn, a run-in with the spiders of Mirkwood, the rollercoaster barrel escape (which was originally intended to close the first act). Jackson’s eye for inventive action is undiminished, and when he gets a set-piece in full flow, there are few who can match him for breathless originality. Despite suffering from middle-act wobbles, The Desolation Of Smaug nevertheless delivers rousing action, incredible visuals and one stupendous dragon.
SOURCE: Total Film
If “An Unexpected Journey” felt like nearly three hours’ worth of throat clearing and beard stroking, the saga gets fully under way at last in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the similarly massive but far more purposeful second chapter in Peter Jackson’s latest Tolkien enterprise. Actually shorter than the first film by nine minutes, this robust, action-packed adventure benefits from a headier sense of forward momentum and a steady stream of 3D-enhanced thrills — culminating in a lengthy confrontation with a fire-breathing, scenery-chewing dragon — even as our heroes’ quest splits into three strands that are left dangling in classic middle-film fashion. Jackson’s gargantuan undertaking can still feel like completist overkill at times, but that won’t keep the Middle-earth enthusiasts who pushed the first “Hobbit” film past the $1 billion mark worldwide from doing the same with this Dec. 13 release, which should see Warners’ and MGM’s coffers overflow like Erebor’s.
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
Graham McTavish as Dwalin
Ken Stott as Balin
Aidan Turner as Kíli
Dean O'Gorman as Fíli
Mark Hadlow as Dori
Jed Brophy as Nori
Adam Brown as Ori
John Callen as Óin
Peter Hambleton as Glóin
William Kircher as Bifur
James Nesbitt as Bofur
Stephen Hunter as Bombur
Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman
Hugo Weaving as Elrond
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel
Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
RELEASE DATE: December 11th, 2013.
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