"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" - One More Vacation to the Shire

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" - One More Vacation to the Shire

From the time 2012's "The Hobbit: Surprise Journey" reintroduced audiences to Middle-earth, fans of the series have eagerly awaited director Peter Jackson's second step to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Although the first movie inside the "Hobbit" trilogy might have endured several pacing problems since it introduced its incredibly large cast of principals, "The Desolation of Smaug" appears to have learned a couple of important lessons from the predecessor and offers a tighter plus more epic story, if not a great one. Clever Mashup

The next film brings audiences returning to in which the first film left off, with all the company of adventurers having just caught sight from the Lonely Mountain. The group splits up, with all the dwarves and Bilbo traveling through Mirkwood while Gandalf leaves to share with his fellow wizards about the threat resulting from the Necromancer. After having a run-in with giant spiders, the key company makes its way through the lands from the Wood Elves as well as the men of Lake-town, meeting a number of the major characters from the novel before moving on to Smaug's lair.

The main cast returns, of course, with Martin Freeman taking the lead as the reluctant gourmand turned burglar turned hero, Bilbo Baggins; Ian McKellen reprising his iconic role as Gandalf; and Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, and Graham McTavish playing the leads one of the dwarven adventurers. Fans of Doctor Who definitely are glad to see Sylvester McCoy return as part of his scene-stealing best as Radagast the Brown, and Orlando Bloom steps back into the elven boots of Legolas, the archer from the "Lord with the Rings" trilogy. Lee Pace gets more screen time as Thranduil, the elven king whom Thorin blames for that lack of his homeland.

Joining the cast are Benedict Cumberbatch since the dragon Smaug, the central foe of the trilogy, and Luke Evans as Bard the bowman, usually the one warrior who may hold the step to defeating the dragon. Mikael Persbrandt uses Peter Jackson's skill at mixing actor scales to try out the gigantic shapeshifter Beorn, a guy who can take the kind of a massive bear. Evangeline Lilly is easily the most notable addition, as her character Tauriel didn't appear in the first story but was created to supply a more diverse onscreen presence plus a new narrative angle for your tale. Stephen Fry turns inside a memorable cameo as the Master of Lake-town, and eagle-eyed fans may catch Stephen colbert in the walk-on role among the Lake-town citizens. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The highest difference between "The Desolation of Smaug" as well as the first "Hobbit" film may be the pacing. Jackson gets the action going a lot more quickly on this occasion, since he doesn't always have to concern yourself with introducing the enormous cast to viewers. Backed by the usual impeccable CGI work from Weta, the action sequences are fierce and fast, as well as the spiders of Mirkwood are creepy and skittery enough to transmit any arachnophobes in the market to the snack bar in the cold sweat. Benedict Cumberbatch's memorable turn as Smaug also benefits from digital assistance, since the filmmakers used motion-capture technology to permit the actor to imbue the sinuous dragon along with his own movements in much the same way Andy Serkis lent his or her own physicality to the vile Gollum in earlier films. The prosthetic work is also first-rate, with dwarven actors rendered almost unrecognizable but nonetheless able to emote warmly from the heavy makeup and elaborately designed beards. The most effective effects, however, will always be natural ones found in New Zealand: those breathtaking it-can't-be-real landscapes that Jackson always seems to find for his most majestic scenes.

Although the film moves faster than its predecessor, it can show a couple of thin spots that obviously came to exist if the two-film series expanded with a trilogy. The pacing with the earliest scenes seems a little off, but it's an easy task to become too trapped in the beautiful vistas and fierce action to essentially notice. Conservative Tolkien fans may take issue with incorporating Tauriel to the story, however the new perspective and emotional strength she adds to the tale will probably be welcomed by most.