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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

November 6, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Director: Peter Jackson
Actor: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen

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Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the Dwarves battle on through to a showdown with the fire-breathing dragon, Smaug, who has captured the Dwarf Kingdom.

Review: The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit franchise trundles on for yet another (this is in fact the fifth) episode, and in many respects it now represents a juggernaut as awesome and relentless as the never-ending army of computerised orcs Peter Jackson churns out on a continual basis to endanger his heroes. The problem with a five (soon to be six) movie franchise is that there can’t help but seem a touch of the law of diminishing returns by the latter episodesThe films’ formulas have almost become a pastiche of themselves – they’re quest movies, they’re built around Frodo/Bilbo Baggins and his chums’ continual scrapes with threatening creatures, and there’s always a steady supply of orcs at hand to lend further impetus to the ‘chase’ element to the narrative.

To cut Jackson some slack, there’s no doubt that these films are lovingly made, and it’s about as uncynical as a family-friendly movie blockbuster franchise scheduled to come out just before Christmas each year can be! Lake-Town (the grotty, ominous, sub-Dickensian estuary port) is a lovely design, and it’s always fun to see Stephen Fry pop up to lend his linguistic gravitas to movies of this ilk. (November 2014)

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