My son and I saw an early screening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earlier in the week. We loved it. The pacing is faster, there’s more action, and there’s also some new material that was not in the book. I think The Hobbit is going to clean-up at the box office this weekend. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros) opens in theaters today. Continue reading to learn five things about the second Hobbit movie.
5 Things About The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The story continues with a flashback
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug begins with a flashback of Thorin the elf king in a tavern. He’s about to be ambushed by two evil dudes when Gandalf shows up. Gandalf tells Thorin he should go on a journey to reclaim his kingdom. The story then flashes forward to where the first part ended. In the second part, the group is still being chased by the orcs. Bilbo and the gang hides in the home of Beorn the skin-changer. They decide to head into Mirkwood to save time. Unfortunately, they get captured first by giant spiders and then by Wood-elves. The group eventually escapes and ends up in the human village of Lake-town. From there, Bilbo and the dwarves make their way up a mountain to find the Arkenstone so they can reclaim Erebor. That’s also where Smaug the dragon is sleeping… but not for long.
New content and characters
It’s been a long time since I read The Hobbit, so I don’t remember all the details and characters from the story. But there appears to be new characters and content in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. For instance, Legolas the pretty boy elf from the Lord of the Rings is in this film. I don’t remember him in The Hobbit book. And in this movie, he has a love interest, Tauriel. I don’t remember her character in either The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit books. I think the flashback at the beginning of this film is also new. Then there’s Gandalf. In the book, Gandalf goes off on his own quest but you don’t get to read the details of it. In the movie, you actually follow along with Gandalf and see him battle a necromancer.
The pacing is faster
Even though the second installment of The Hobbit is 160 minutes long, the pacing is faster than the first movie. In my opinion, the first Hobbit film was too slow and dragged a little at times. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has an excellent mix of action, drama, and humor. The 160 minutes went by very quickly. The ending actually caught me off guard because it ended abruptly with a blank screen.
The Desolation of Smaug is OK for young kids
The film is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images. There’s are some scenes that might be a little intense or scary for very young kids, but I think most kids will be OK. In my opinion, the biggest problem for young kids is probably the length of the movie — 2 hours and 40 minutes. That’s a long time for little ones. They might even need a potty break.
Kate from Lost is no longer lost
In the first Hobbit movie, Gollum stole the show. He’s not in the second movie, but we are introduced to another interesting character: Tauriel. She is played by Evangeline Lilly (remember her from the Lost TV series?). Her character is a kick-ass elf who knows how to fight and is a great orc slayer. In my opinion, Tauriel is the most interesting character in The Desolation of Smaug. The film also featured Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Adam Brown (Ori), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug / Necromancer), Mikael Persbrandt (Beorn), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Luke Evans (Bard / Girion), Stephen Fry (Master of Laketown), Ryan Gage (Alfrid), and John Bell (Bain). The movie was directed by Peter Jackson.