Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continues his quest to help The Dwarves get their homeland back from the fearsome Dragon Smaug in the second part of Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
Jackson’s face is the first on camera as he makes a fleeting appearance before we move on with the tale. Two thirds of the film is a chase movie with the evil Orcs on the trail of Bilbo and the gang who are helped this time out by Elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). There are some fantastic fight scenes as the Orcs catch up with their quarry several times prior to the film’s glorious climax in Smaug’s lair.
Voiced brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek: Into Darkness) Smaug is a wonderful addiction to this series and more than makes up for the absent Gollum. At no moment do you doubt the validity of a talking Dragon, such is the atmosphere created. The fire-breathing is fantastic too and the battle between Dwarves and Dragon is absolutely terrific.
I had my doubts about this but thankfully The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug exceeds expectations and leaves the viewer crying out for the final instalment.
Ric’s Rating: Essential.