By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Fans anxiously waiting for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug may feel dissuaded by the long length, but every moment is well worth the effort. Peter Jackson has provided a very meaty story that picks up the pace from where the last movie left off. He felt that there needed to be at least a quick summary of what the first film was about, and that was deftly handled without weighing the rest of the film down.
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) finds himself having to deal with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) more often than with the wise old wizard, Gandalf (Ian McKellen). The mage has to forge ahead and look into more disturbing manners. If this movie was to foreshadow anything about a fellowship, then what it foretells is more like the parting of the ways in order to get the last job done. There will be more issues to come that readers of the book will know about when the final chapter, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, releases at the end of next year.
By then, fans of the cinematic series will have plenty to think about before seeing what Jackson and writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro have in store for this cinematic rewriting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s material.