Entertainment

Steen: Scenery and Hobbit action

The Hobbit–The Desolation of Smaug

I’m a big Hobbit fan—it’s my inner child. Well, actually, it’s my outer child covering up a modicum of maturity somewhere at my core.

Whatever it is, I love this stuff. Fantasy is good for all of us, just so we don’t take stuff so darned seriously, and even the most jaded of us can relate in some way to the characters—hobbits, dwarfs, elves. (Actually, elves are a tad mean—who knew?)

This second in the trilogy follows from the story that began with An Unexpected Journey and sees Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the rest continuing the journey to reclaim Erenbor from Smaug, the dragon (who is so well voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).

As they continue, they run into even more dangers such as the skin changer Beorn and the giant spiders of Milkwood and then onto the Lonely Mountain to face the fearsome Smaug himself.

This is certainly a stellar cast which includes Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Evengeline Lilly as Tauriel—leader of the Milkwood Elf Guard,  and Cate Blanchett as Galdadriel.

And of course there’s the bad guys—who are really bad, like Orc, the Defiler (do you not love the name?) and other ugly creatures.

This is a long one—it runs two hours and 40 minutes of the most incredible scenery and action scenes. I have no idea how any of this is done, but in 3D, it’s quite magical and it all started with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which was written as a children’s story about dwarves and a courageous Hobbit, a wizard and a dragon. It, in turn, spawned the sequel Lord of the Rings.

So does this end as we might expect—no, and that’s why we have to wait until next year for the conclusion with The Hobbit: There and Back Again, when once again Peter Jackson will weave his magic.

The Desolation of Smaug cost $250 million to make and this past weekend took in $763.7 million in the U.S. and Canada alone with estimates for world-wide revenues of $205 million for the premiere weekend.

This is worth seeing a couple of times just for the sheer fun of it all. The only problem is that we have to wait a year for the next one!

I give The Hobbit–The Desolation of Smaug five magical reels.

 

 

 

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