Review - The Hobbit - Desolation of Smaug

Ok you may be asking why have I posted  a god awful picture of some books?  

Well look carefully you will see three of the books are The Lord of the Rings and one (remember that number) is The Hobbit.  These books are my twenty year old original copies which is why they are a bit dog-eared, I have since purchased another copy of LOTR as a back up copy!

Now I am showing you these books as last night I sat through a long film, it was a good film but at least an hour too long, That film was The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug.  

Following on from an Unexpected Journey, this instalment deals with Bilbo and the dwarves journey through Mirkwood and on to the Lonely Mountain via Lake Town.

Chased by a pack of horrific orcs they have to make their way through Mirkwood,  an evil forest with the fortress of Dol Guldur at its centre, during their trek the company starts to hallucinate and lose their way but the worse is yet to come - massive spiders! 

Now I hate this sort of thing so I cowered under a cushion for this part but they are saved by our old friend Legolas and fellow elf Tauriel (yes it's Kate from Lost!) who bring the dwarves with the exception of Bilbo back to the forest realm of Legolas's father, Thranduil who is creepily played by a brilliant Lee Pace.

Locked up by the elves,  they are saved by Bilbo who has snuck in using the ring to hide from the elves watchful eyes.  The escape is great fun, it really should be made it to a ride or simulator somewhere, they escape by barrel down a river full of perilous drops and rapids whilst being attacked by orcs, they make it to Lake Town with the help of Bard.

Hidden from the inhabitants of Lake Town by Bard they attempt to steal some better weapons but are found by the master of Lake Town (Stephen Fry everyone!), Thorin manages to convince the townsfolk that they can have a share in the riches from underneath the mountain once the slay the dragon.  Bard is not convinced and warns them that it will not end well.

Part of the company now set out to the Lonely Mountain to seek the Arkenstone to help Thorin take back his legacy.

Now there is a lot of filler in this film, Kili gets an arrow in the leg and Fili refuses to leave him so they stay in Lake Town to looking for the legendary Athelas plant to heal him, plant found and he is healed with a little help form Tauriel who has a soft spot for the dwarf and whilst out of it Kili confesses his love for the elf.

Also Gandalf is just not in it enough though he has a whole bit where he enters Dol Guldur and meets the Necromancer who is of course Sauron but worst of all he loses his hat.

Benedict Cumberbatch is almost unrecognisable as Smaug who is a brilliant piece of CGI and the gold in his lair is just spectacular.

The film ends with the dwarves and Bilbo accidentally unleashing Smaug on to the poor residents of Lake Town.

I really think this film could have been done in maybe a three hour film or at the most two films but to drag it out over three films is a bad idea, they are by no means bad films they are beautiful, well acted and very enjoyable they are just over-long.  The Lord of the Rings probably could have taken another couple of films with the amount they cut out of it but The Hobbit feels a bit like its been stretched.

So I will give it a three out of five, its enjoyable but far too long!

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