Barded and Smauged
For those who have not watched this movie - the headline will make little sense. It is only fair. If you don’ t know Smaug or Bard then you should stay at home! Fine not Bard - but Smaug you must.
Peter Jackson takes a second leap into pure visual ecstasy after the Lord of the Rings blockbusters and of course The Hobbit. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (TDOS) is part two of Bilbo Baggins’ adventure. For those who do not know what I am talking about - READ.
The story picks up as the company of 13 dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard journey on to the Lonely Mountain to find the fabled Arkenstone that will allow the King of Erebor to regain his thrown rightfully. Now the twist in that tail is that the dreaded Smaug rules the halls of Erebor deep inside the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), as a stealthy burglar must sneak in and steal the Arkenstone from under the Smaug’s nose. Well, literally and the only advice he gets is - If there is a dragon there...don’t wake it! Easy come easy go!
But the journey to the lonely mountain is no cake walk, of course you cannot have an adventure then! The dwarves and the hobbit are left alone by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) as he races to Dol Guldur to deal with the Necromancer. Lead by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) the fourteen brave spiders who act like poorer cousins of Shelob (The Return of the King) and the elves of Mirkwood. With orcs closing in thick and fast, the fourteen find their way to the bowman of Lake Town, Bard (Luke Evans) before they reach the Lonely Mountain, solve the puzzle of the last light of Durin’s Day and open the secret door into the mountain. The movie ends with the enraged Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, yum!) flying towards Lake Town to destroy it all over again. Here’s waitng for the last part!
Throw in some brilliant elvish action sequences from Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), some great looking men despite the unkempt, messy long hair, a wave of liquid gold that bathes the Smaug and you have yourself a visual extravaganza.
TDOS works to flesh out The Hobbit characters better, though Legolas is ideally not a part of The Hobbit originally, Orlando Bloom killing it with the bow and arrow is always a pleasure.
Jackson knows what he is doing and he does it VERY well. Hard-core Tolkein fanatics might scoff at the much dragged out Hobbit series but this movie is a delight to watch, especially in 3D. If you liked The Hobbit - don’t miss this for the world.