The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie posterMartin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug and the Necromancer
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
Evangaline Lilly as Tauriel
Luke Evans as Bard of the Bowman
Lee Pace as Thranduil
Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town

In theaters December 13

5 out of 5 stars

The Desolation of Smaug is the continuation of the saga of the dwarf prince Thorin Oakensheild (Richard Armitage) to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, the home of his people, and become king. Their home has long been abandoned since it was attacked and taken over by the dreaded dragon Smaug who now inhabits the mountain. It’s up to Thorin and his band of fellow dwarves to find their way into the mountain and retrieve the Arkenstone, a gem of great power, that will make Thorin king. That’s where Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), The Hobbit comes in. Bilbo was recruited for the quest at the behest of the wizard Gandalf (Ian Mckellen) as a master burglar to go in and steal the gem for Thorin, but this awakens Smaug and throws not only their lives in peril, it also spells doom for the residents of nearby Lake-town.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second part of Peter Jackson’s visioning of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel. Although the story is told in one novel, Jackson has split the story into three parts with the final movie, There And Back Again, set to roll out in 2014. Everyone has returned for part two including, of course, Martin Freeman as Bilbo, but there are a few additions to the cast in the voice of Martin’s Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch who lends his voice and motions to the monstrous dragon Smaug. Benedict’s voice is very rich and sinister on it’s own, but when you hear the fully processed Smaug, the hairs on the back of your neck will be standing. Benedict also did motion capture for some of the dragon’s movements and facial expressions, as well as lending motion to the character of the Necromancer, the source of the burgeoning evil that is to come later on in the story. British comedian Stephen Fry is the master of Lake-town, the settlement near the Lonely Mountain. Also keep your eyes peeled for the director Peter Jackson and comedian Stephen Colbert in brief cameo roles.

As always, the cinematography is breathtaking as well as the CGI. Movies like this are what 3D was made for. I admit there was a scene with giant spiders that made me very uncomfortable, but the barrel escape scene has got to be one of the most interesting action sequences I have seen in a while. If you are a fan of all things Tolkien and the LOTR series then this movie can’t miss. It’s great fantastic fantasy fun, but be warned this is part two of a trilogy so don’t be surprised or upset when and where this movie leaves off.

Check out the trailer for “THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG” below:

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