The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

In the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy, the 12 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), along with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), continue on their quest across Middle-earth to reclaim their homeland from Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), the dragon that drove them out in the exposition of the first movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the company continues to travel east, encountering the skin-changer Beom and swarms of monsters in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous wood-elves, the dwarves journey to Lake-town and finally to the Lonely mountain itself where they must face the greatest danger of all – the dragon Smaug.

Justin Chang of Variety writes, “Robust and action-packed, Jackson’s gargantuan undertaking maintains an impressive visual continuity with his incomparable Lord of the Rings trilogy. There’s an unmistakable pleasure in being transported back to his Middle-earth. As ever, in terms of logistical mastery and marshaling of resources in service of a grandly involving bigscreen [sic] entertainment, one couldn’t ask for a better ringmaster (so to speak) than Jackson.” is predicting that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug takes in $80M in its opening weekend. Its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey, opened at $84.6, so we’ll see what happens. Linked above is the official Warner Bros. site for The Hobbit where you can explore Middle Earth interactively, and it’s remarkable to say the least.

Rating: PG-13 // Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy // Runtime: 2 hr. and 41 min. // Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage // Based Upon the Novel by: J.R.R. Tolkien // Screenplay by: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro // Produced by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), New Line Cinema, WingNut Films // Distributed by: Warner Bros.