In the second instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, we once again catch up with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his rag-tag bunch of accompanying dwarves on their quest to reach The Lonely Mountain and regain the Dwarves’ homeland. After two hours of being chased by White Orcs, a quick run in with some Elves (hello Orlando Bloom), and a detour through Lake Town, our heroes finally reach the mountain. Bilbo makes some small talk with Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), there’s some fire breathing, and then the movie ends. It goes for almost three hours, but both times I left the cinema, I felt like I hadn’t actually seen anything.
I’ve never read The Hobbit, but I do know it’s not exactly the largest book in the world. Why, then, it needs to be split into three incredibly long and rather dry movies is beyond me. The premise would make an excellent film, maybe even two. But three films pushing three hours each? Nobody has time for that.
The movie wasn’t terrible. The barrel riding scene was excellent. Smaug, as Bilbo said, was indeed stupendous. Stephen Fry as The Master of Laketown was brilliant. Peter Jackson’s beautiful cinematography is absolutely perfect. But, there just wasn’t a plot. Or, more fairly, a plot that couldn’t have fitted in perfectly with the first equally overly long film. If both had been purged of unnecessary scenes and been smushed into one more action filled film that began in Hobbiton and ended at The Lonely Mountain, I would be much more of a fan.
The film ends just as the action is finally beginning to get exciting, which gives me hope for the third and final instalment. Unfortunately, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, is still a year away. So for now, you can either sit through nearly three hours of film in which nothing really happens, or just know that the film includes some walking and a bit of a dragon, and skip straight to number three.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is in Australian cinemas now through Roadshow Films.
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