The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Review

The second instalment of Bilbo Baggins and his adventure with the dwarfs to help Thorin reclaim the throne under the mountain from dragon Smaug. It picks up where The Unexpected Journey left off and we follow the group travelling across middle earth to get to Misty Mountains. It’s not a simple journey as they must head through Mirkwood forest and Lake-town, which means plenty of Elves and Men have now joined the tale.

The film has quite a lot to take in over the course of the 2 hours 40 minutes it is on for, but at times it does feel a little bit slow. I do remember at one point thinking it had been on for ages and they were nowhere near the mountain yet. But despite that I did find myself really liking most of the film, it had some good moments for myself and fellow Lord of the Rings geeks with little references linking things together. Obviously if you aren’t the biggest LOTR fan most of these will be totally lost, but I love it!

Martin Freeman really is a fantastic Bilbo Baggins and you cannot help but love him throughout. This is something which grows stronger over the course of the film as well, as he gets deeper into his adventure and pushing himself to the limits. With help of the magical mysterious ring he now has. His nature is brilliant and the way he is growing is brilliant as well. I can’t give him enough praise, I just wish we had more of him in the film as felt at times it went too far away from the actual tale of Bilbo.

Visually the scenes were stunning at times and you really find yourself getting totally lost in Middle Earth. The Elves really do add so much magic to the film and we see another familiar face in the form of Legolas. Who does get to do some more crazy stunts which will make you smile and laugh at times as they are pretty crazy again.

One of my favourite moments which I am sure everyone will love has to be the barrel sequence. It really does make you smile, laugh and looks pretty cool as well. Especially as it looks like some ride at a theme park as well, I think that is something that makes it even better to watch as you can relate to a similar experience. Although what a new twist that would be if you were in a barrel instead of a dingy.

Obviously though throughout the whole film everyone in the audience is waiting for one thing . . . You guessed it Smaug! The dragon it is all about seeing the dragon and how the scenes are going to look. Well they certainly did look great and you could really feel Bilbo’s fear as he tries to act normal with Smaug.

The scenes are quite long and drawn out but it is what we were waiting for throughout the film. I thought the CGI was fantastic and Benedict Cumberbatch adding the voice (I don’t think I would have realised it was him if I didn’t already know) really made it even better. He was slightly creepy yet managed to be charming at the same time, not bad for a dragon really. I think it is well worth the wait to see Smaug for the first time and the way it is done hidden in all of the gold is a good touch.

It was well over 10 years ago since I read ‘The Hobbit’ so in all honesty cannot remember much about the book. I did really enjoy it, but can’t compare it to the film. I know it has a lot of differences so it is probably best to be able to keep them as two different versions of Bilbo’s story. Although my main complaint about the film has to be the love story (or hinted towards) between Tauriel an Elf and Kili the Dwarf. It just seems so unnecessary and pointless (my opinion). I know the same has been said about Legolas as well, but at least we have his father the king and understand a little bit more about the place he comes from? Ok, slightly biased with that one.


Thorin is key to the story as he is the rightful King of the Misty Mountain, and wants to reclaim his throne. My main problem with Thorin is that I don’t actually like him, I think he is power-driven and doesn’t really come across as someone who will make a good king. The way he treats Bilbo and those around him backs that up, no like-ability factor with him at all.

It might feel a little long at times but it is still a good piece to the journey and leaves us with a cliffhanger ending which we have to wait a whole year to see the final part of the trilogy. Which let’s face it is going to be the best part! It has been building up nicely to set it up for bigger things and I am sure we won’t be disappointed with the third instalment.

How did you find the return to Middle Earth?

19 thoughts on “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Review

  1. I liked the additions of Legolas and new character Tauriel, but agree about the love triangle. It does seem kind of pointless and I’m not sure as yet exactly what it can add to the overall story. I also found Thorin unlikable, but perhaps that’s the point? Not sure. Cumberbatch as Smaug was wonderful, and I loved the interactions between the Dragon and Bilbo. Freeman continued to impress me in this one, even though the story is less about him this time around, I felt he did an excellent job. Nice review, overall I agree!


  2. Good review Caz. While I can this is better than the first, it’s not by all that much. I still feel like Jackson has plenty to work on if he wants to leave his mark with this next, and hopefully, installment.


    • Yeah I think the third part is going to be pretty epic. I have the extended version of the first film on Blu-Ray but haven’t watched it yet. Think that will fill in some gaps.


  3. Great review, I had a brilliant time watching this film 😀

    Its still a bit too long but if I had to stay in any imaginary world middle earth isn’t too bad ;D

    Smaug stole the show and I am glad he did, great visuals and just an all over better film than the first hobbit, hope the trend continues into part 3 😀


  4. […] “It might feel a little long at times but it is still a good piece to the journey and leaves us with a cliffhanger ending which we have to wait a whole year to see the final part of the trilogy. Which let’s face it is going to be the best part! It has been building up nicely to set it up for bigger things and I am sure we won’t be disappointed with the third instalment.” Let’s Go To The Movies. Full Review […]


  5. […] MY EYES, THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING – The frame-rate related headaches continue as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released this week. For a superb review of same that I simply cannot hope to emulate despite best efforts, check out Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews. And for a review equal in general brilliance and one I happen to concur wholeheartedly with, read all about Caz’s thoughts over at Let’s Go To The Movies. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.