Film review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

When the first film in the Hobbit trilogy was released a year ago, everyone kept talking about the disproportionate length of the films (totaling around nine hours) compared with the size of the source text, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 300-page novel. If War and Peace could be made into a three-hour film, what prevented Jackson from producing a film length commensurate with the size of his story?

It doesn’t take an outsized intellect to recognize financial considerations playing an important role here, and one would expect that, if anyone could entertain us for such an extended period of time, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson would be the man for the job. But just as The Hobbit precedes the story contained in The Lord of the Rings, so too this current batch of films seems to be the work of a much less experienced director.

Because this latest installment of The Hobbit, titled The Desolation of Smaug, is the second film of a three-part series, we cannot have expected there to be much to get excited about, as it functions mostly as a bridge between the first and last parts of the story. But the same was true of the second Lord of the Rings film, The Two Towers, and yet Jackson used majestic battle scenes and spectacular locations to his advantage in keeping our attention.

To read the full review, visit The Prague Post. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in Bulgaria on December 13.

(Still of Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.)