The Desolation of Smaug is the second installment to a trilogy that is the prequel to one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. Firstly no it’s not as good as The Lord of the Rings and never will be; the original story, and the concurrent events lack the world spanning impact that the famous trilogy has. However, it is a vastly superior film to it’s predecessor An Unexpected Journey. The Hobbit adapts more fantasy elements than it’s counterpart in some sense, LOTR ‘feels’ more real whereas The Hobbit goes back to it’s roots with talking animals and appears to modern audiences something that was common in Harry Potter or the Narnia films. In The Hobbit however these quirky changes almost go unnoticed, especially with Smaug feeling more human and lifelike than most mainstream actors. Visually it’s as brilliant though feels slightly too fake compared to LOTR. This is balanced by the dulling of light, the story is now darker than the first film and original novel, with Bilbo witnessing the true powers the ring has on it’s bearer, but nowhere near as dark as LOTR. The film should also be praised in that it doesn’t spend a few minutes in the opening explaining what’s going on for people too lazy to watch the first one, it jumps right into the action and ends concisely. Hope are high for the final installment, and though the adventure has been fun it would be nice to see the book finally closed.
Verdict – 5/5 – Middle-Earth is back on form and at it’s most tempting yet.