Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" franchise.
Though it has been said a million times before, there is indeed a risk in breaking a 310-page children's book into a trilogy more suitable for adult audiences. It means more scenes must be added, more characters would be introduced, and more unnecessary subplots are thrown in the mix.
By no means is this writer saying that "The Desolation of Smaug" is a bad movie. Peter Jackson still succeeds in making wonderful fantasy adventure filled with scenic views and colourful characters. "The Hobbit" is still an excellent movie to watch (especially in IMAX 3D) and Bilbo Baggins is still the more entertaining Hobbit than his younger relative, Frodo (thanks to Martin Freeman who brought life into the mousy little character).
The action scenes are far better than its predecessor, especially during the dwarves journey into the ill-looking Mirkwood forests and their encounter with several obstacles, old foes, as well as a familiar face from the trilogy (*cue screaming fangirls*). It also finally introduces the dragon that has been on everybody's lips since the first movie, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (*cue more screaming fangirls*), as well as another familiar character in another subplot involving Gandalf and the Orcs.
Should the movie end on a more satisfying note, this reviewer would have rated it higher. But an unnecessary subplot involving a love triangle, the introduction of too many characters that may have seemed more comprehensible if the story was not broken into three movies of epic proportions, and the emphasis on Legolas' presence for marketing reasons have made the experience felt a bit inauthentic.
In short, watch this if you have watched the first movie, or if you're a Tolkien/Jackson fan through and through. Cinema Online, 10 December 2013