The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was a fun movie. Don’t expect the nostalgic joy of the first film. It is face-paced action adventure all dressed up in typical Tolkein-faire.
In the time since Peter Jackson first returned us to Middle Earth last year the nostalgia has worn off. The colorful good-humored tone of the first film has matured into the serious adventure we all expected. In terms of fantasy fun and thrills it does not disappoint.
Across the board the latest foray into the Jackson-born-Tolkien cinematic universe has escalated. The acting: better. The action: better. The effects: better. For me, The Desolation of Smaug was in almost every possible way a better movie than An Unexpected Journey.
However, in terms of sheer story I think Bilbo described it best in The Lord of Rings: Fellowship of the Ring when he said he felt “like butter scraped over too much bread.” There is a thin thread of a plot. I suppose that is what we should expect from a modern adaptation of a nearly century old children’s tale. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is light on drama.
I am a lifelong fan of Tolkien’s world and every time I get to visit I am left pleased by the trip, even if this particular outing did leave me wanting more. I am genuinely looking forward to going There and Back Again on December 17, 2014.