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Exhiliration from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Peter Jackson is back with the exciting second film in the trilogy

By Martha Morganstein, Online News Editor
December 20, 2013
Following the success of the first movie in the series, director, Peter Jackson released the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." which proved to be even more thrilling than the first. Since Jackson decided to create a trilogy out of the only one J.R.R Tolkien novel, some die-hard fans of the book might be bothered with the differences between the book and movie. Characters are added that did not appear in the book and certain events were changed. However, whether you have read the book or not, it is an early Christmas present that will keep audience eyes glued to the screen

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

(released December 31, 2069)
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"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is the second installment of the soon to be three-part film based on the "The Hobbit."

"The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" picks off where the previous movie left off. Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and wizard, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the 13 dwarves, commanded by Thorin Oakenshield ( Richard Armitage) are continuing their dangerous journey to reclaim the dwarf kingdom of Erebor from the evil dragon, Smaug (voice by Benedict Cumberbatch). The practically non-stop action starts right at the beginning of the movie with a chase scene between a bear-like creature and the group of dwarfs, the hobbit and wizards. To top it off, the group is still being closely trailed by a horde of Orcs, a group of ruthless creatures. To avoid their pursuers, but still reach the old kingdom in time, the group must take the path through the treacherous forest of Mirkwood, where the group is warned, that if they take the wrong path in the forest, you'll never get out. Just before they enter the forest, Gandalf is called off to complete to do a mission of his own, so the rest of the group is left to face the perils of the forest alone. Throughout the film, the group is faced with plenty of life threatening situations such as being held as prisoners in an elf kingdom, stuck in a massive spider web or trying to defeat the almost invincible dragon. Along the way, the group is helped by a number of unlikely characters such as elves or a bard, who all become a part in this epic quest of a movie.

Some fans of the book criticize Jackson for adding characters to the Hobbit trilogy, saying that they are unnecessary. The elves, Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) were not mentioned in the novel, but they spice up the action on screen. Legolas with his elven charm is already a popular character in the Lord of the Rings movies and Taurial acts as a bit of the love interest for Legolas and a dwarf. The insertion of the elves, with their bodacious archery skills, should be welcomed to the film, no matter the dissonance with the book.

A major criticism that Jackson received on his last hobbit film, "The Hobbit: an unexpected journey" was that it was just too elaborated and lasted too long. This film despite being even longer than the last one, was anything but slow. The constant action added the flare that last movie was missing. Whether it was battling a dragon or riding though barrels in a fast current, something was always going on, on screen. The frequent fight scenes were well choreographed and seemed very realistic. The convincing action scenes made the audience feel legitimately scared for the characters' even if you already knew what was going was going to happen.
The acting was excellent on everyone's part. The wit shown in Bilbo Baggins and the dwarvess added fun to an otherwise somber plot. Freeman did a good job of portraying the internal struggle Bilbo Baggins was facing when he was choosing whether to put on the exciting, yet corrupted ring that he found in the last movie. Also Cumberbatch who added the villainous voices of the film, sounded as realistic as a talking dragon could be. The fire-breathing monster was an example of how great the graphics were for this movie, all the computerized characters seemed very lifelike.

The suspenseful music was prominent through the film. When characters were having a heated conversation, a fight scene was occurring on screen or characters were simply walking through the woods, music seemed to be always playing. The music was a good fit because it matched the tone of the scene. For example, as voices raised so did the music. The music established tone to the already extremely thrilling movie.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is a fantasy-action film that will keep the audience on their toes. The aspects of humor, adventure, fantasy, love and revenge makes staying the whole 161 minutes of the movie worth it. The second installments in the trilogy will prove to be even more exciting than the first.

Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images. Now playing in theaters everywhere.

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