The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came out a year ago and fans have been eagerly awaiting The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug ever since. Director Peter Jackson and his production teams put together an amazing sequel that will once again leave audiences wanting more.
* Warning – Possible spoilers ahead. *
The film begins in a flashback scene in Bree, a small town just outside of the borders of the Shire. In this scene we see how the journey truly began and we see that it was Gandalf who ultimately persuaded Thorin to go on a quest to reclaim his homeland. Then we are back with Bilbo and the dwarf troop as they continue their journey towards Erebor.
The troop must enter through the dangerous Mirkwood Forest in order to embark on the last leg of the journey. However, Gandalf cannot go with them and embarks on another quest towards Dol Guldur, where the necromancer is gaining power.
He warns the troop to stay on the path, otherwise the dark powers of the forest will cause you to hallucinate. Of course, when in the Mirkwood Forest, the dwarves end up straying from the path and are captured by large spiders. This means that Bilbo must use his wits and his new ring to get them out of danger.
Once Bilbo finally frees all of the dwarves from the spiderwebs, the chase begins as they try to fight their way out of the forest. One of those many moments in the film when you think to yourself “How are they going to get out of this?” The answer my friends, is the elves. Legolas and Tauriel come barging in with a troop of fellow elves to battle it out with the spiders.
Although the elves save the dwarves from the onslaught of arachnids, they capture them and strip them of their weapons and other possessions. This creates a moment between Legolas and Gloin (Glimey’s father) that will no doubt leave fans laughing.
The elves then take them back to Mirkwood living quarters and put them in jail for intruding. As the dwarves are leaving the forest, they realize that Bilbo is nowhere to be found.
Bilbo uses the ring and follows them to Mirkwood and soon realizes that he must rescue the dwarves (again) and get them out of the Mirkwood jail. He finds a quick and risky solution within some empty barrels. These barrels are going to be sent down the river to Laketown, which is just the place they need to get to before heading up the mountain to Erebor.
So Bilbo waits until the opportune moment, uses the ring to steal the jail keys, frees the dwarves, and shows them his plan. At first, they are all very apprehensive, but Thorin convinces them it is the right thing to do and the only way to get out and continue their quest.
Just as the dwarves escape in the barrels, Tauriel and her guards realize that they have escaped the jail. This causes all of the guards to be on high alert and ultimately leads to the dwarves being blocked from leaving. However, an army of orcs have been tracking the dwarves on order of Azog the defiler and they start to attack the elves and the dwarves. From here, an incredible and crazy battle scene down the river begins.
When Bilbo and the dwarves escape the orcs, they take a moment to gather themselves and tend to Kili, who has been injured in the battle. This reprieve is short-lived as they are confronted by Bard the Bowman of Laketown.
Bard is the one responsible for retrieving the barrels and returning them to Laketown and he was not expecting company. The troop ends up convincing Bard to help them get to Laketown via his boat.
Once they get to Laketown, Bard is worried he could get into trouble so he finds ways to keep them hidden until they can get to his house. From here, Bilbo and the dwarves end up staying with Bard and his three kids.
Thorin grows restless knowing that Erebor is so close and he is so close to reaching his goal. He goes against Bard’s advice and gathers Bilbo and the rest of the dwarves to steal weapons from the armory. The royal guards of Laketown end up catching them and taking them to the Master of Laketown.
Thorin realizes how greedy the Master of Laketown is and the impoverished conditions the people of Laketown are living in. He uses this to his advantage as he is trying to convince everyone of the meaning behind their journey to Erebor. Thorin promises that restoring Erebor is not only going to benefit the dwarves, but the people of Laketown too.
And so begins the journey up to the mountain…
I do not want to reveal too much more, but this is definitely not a film to miss! Peter Jackson has once again delivered an absolutely amazing film that will likely thrill audiences around the world.
The production teams always do a spectacular job. The amazingly detailed costumes, set pieces, props, and stunning make up only did more to enhance the journey. The visual effects team also did an amazing job with creating Smaug the dragon and expanding on the design of the orcs.
The actors that were also in the first film, all did great with enhancing and developing their characters. Actors that were new to the Hobbit franchise such as, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, and Orlando Bloom also did well with introducing and developing their characters.
Overall, the story was well-paced and action-packed, but there were a few moments where it felt like the story was dragging on a little bit. Plus, some of the visual effects made me feel like I was watching a video game rather then a movie. Nonetheless, The Desolation of Smaug was another triumph under Peter Jackson’s movie belt. The ending of this awaited sequel will absolutely leave you wanting more.