After last year’s fun opener the Lord of the Rings prequel bursts back onto the big screen in all its Hobbity goodness for more fantasy geek action with The Desolation of Smaug.
And just who is Smaug? None other than JRR Tolkien’s great dragon, voiced and even motion captured by the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch, no less.
If you haven’t seen part one, you may well be a little lost as director Peter Jackson offers no recap.Hero Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is pressed immediately into action – and this time there is a lot of action!
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Middle-Earth has never looked so good. This is a fully-formed world with an incredibly rich history, intricate lore and a host of fantastic characters, and thanks to this being the follow-on film there is no need to waste time setting the scene.
Bilbo is the designated burglar for a company of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a mission to reclaim their home. They need an infamous stone is hidden among the hoard of jewels and gold amassed by the dragon Smaug. And what a dragon he is… Best. Dragon. Ever!
Along the way the dwarves are hunted by an evil pack of orcs, run foul of a mean bunch of giant spiders and are captured by the legendary wood elves. These various trials allow for some superb fights, adventures and full on action scenes which will have your inner fantasy nerd flipping out. The scenes of elves – including fan favourite Legolas, who makes a welcome cameo – going all out in battle against orcs are some of the most exciting ever.
In addition there is also the awesome wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan), who brings his trademark gravitas to the proceedings as he works his magic to try and thwart the growing threat of a great dark power – the pay-off of which we will not see until the Lord of The Rings itself.
New characters include the ‘skin-changer’ Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt) who spends his nights as a giant bear, female battle elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) whose role wasn’t in the book, and new heroic human Bard (Luke Evans).
The Desolation of Smaug is an all out fantasy epic which you need to see on the big screen. Here’s looking forward to next year’s finale, There And Back Again.