suspend belief and go along for the adventure of THE HOBBIT: The Desolation of Smaug in marvelous 3D! Opens in theatres December 13.
The second in a trilogy of film adaptations based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the three films tell a continuous story set 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” the big screen blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
I like this installment far better than the first HOBBIT (An Unexpected Journey) for several reasons: the story is captivating though it runs two hours and 40 minutes; the action sequences are exhilarating, for me, because a female protagonist, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), with an ability to slay a mess of never-ending Orcs, balances the male-dominated cast and; the special effects are extraordinary.
Award winning, creative mastermind Peter Jackson’s Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D) in select theaters, other 2D and 3D formats, and IMAX®. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.A visual feat, set design too deserves a worthy nod, particularly, the Laketown community, home to Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) and his precious children. A man of conviction, Bard’s meager abode serves as a place of safety and provision for the dwarves, on the lamb from Orcs, Trolls and Wargs, pursuing the bountiful land of their heritage.
We see less of Gandolf the Grey in this film but, less can be more given the redoubtable performance of Sir Ian McKellen as the formidable wizard, a relentless and fearless avatar of sorts.
We see plenty of the monstrous Smaug, the gigantically ferocious, fire-breathing, death-defying dragon, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. This is where the story finds its’ voice with Bilbo (Martin Freeman), situated in the confines of the dragon’s clutches; courage is his only way out. The sequence gives new meaning to the catchy phrase, follow the money.
As we follow the dwarves through river chases, mountain climbing and beast-sightings, Jackson inserts a subtle love story: Tauriel and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) fancy each other though restrained in displaying their affections. This semblance of a romance is more emotional investment than steamy love affair, thankfully, for the PG-13 rating and floods of “tweens” sure to show up at the box office.