The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

burglar

Ruh roh, Smaug the magnificent is stirring, and he smells the blood of a halfling burglar, come to retrieve the magical Dwarvish Arkenstone from his lair under the mountain, where he sleeps and sleeps, all day and all night, because, you see, he’s got all the gold and treasure in the world but nothing to do with it, so he’s really really really bored and depressed, and now he just lies in wait for any who would dare. Only problem is, he’s the dumbest dragon in Midgard/Middle-Earth, so all his fire breathing nonsense is no match for Bilbo and his dwarves with their little pick axes and swordlings and hominid brainpower and stuff.

There’s loads more going on in this one, with the return of Gandalf and his cooky poo faced wizard friend Radagast, cameos from none other than Legolas fat face and Arwen body double Evangeline Lilly who – alas – is seeing someone else, and of course Azog The Defibrillator commanding Sauron’s minions in the dark tongue.

If all you want from a holiday season blockbuster is high flying action and a bit of festive cheer (and why would you want more?), then this movie will suit you fine, but I dare say Steven Spielberg or George Lucas (the modern versions) could have easily made the same movie. There’s always a moral lesson to Tolkien’s written works, and we hope Peter Jackson will successfully capture it in next year’s finale, but The Desolation of Smaug is too obsessed with being all up in your face with 3D action and adventure, so it misses the bus entirely. It’s just the middle act of a trilogy we all knew about beforehand, setting us up for the final act we pray will properly resolve the five+ hours we’ve all sat through.

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