The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug 2013 9 out of 10
I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy and so I was sure I was going to enjoy the Hobbit as well (which I did). My only concerns were the nature of this more child friendly book and the fact that they were splitting it into 3 movies. The film suffers slightly from both factors. The Hobbit films are a notch below the level of the Lord of the Rings movies in my opinion, yet still a lot of fun. The first Hobbit movie (although excellent) was definitely more of kids film than the Ring trilogy while the 2nd installment seemed to settle into a more adult tone once it got going. I watched the Hobbit part 1 and 2 back to back over last weekend, so I pretty much spent the entire day in middle earth.
The story of the 2nd film finds Biblo and the dwarfs making their way closer to the Lonely Mountains in hopes of winning their home back from Smaug the Dragon. Along the way they encounter many hurdles such as Orcs, Giant spiders and a forest that makes them hallucinate. One of my favorite scenes was the dwarfs escaping the home of the forest elves in a thrilling barrel river rapids sequence. The scene was Temple of Doom mine cart chase over the top and looked like the funniest theme park water ride ever. And then they face Smaug the dragon which was a visually stunning sequence and probably the best part of the movie. The movie abruptly ends with the dragon leaving the mountain to destroy the town below--so we have to wait a year to see part 3. Despite its falling short of the Ring trilogy the film is still an exciting adventure and worth a 9 out of 10
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