The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second part of the second trilogy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The first trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, made a lot of sense as it was a trilogy of books. This second trilogy, The Hobbit, makes less sense as it is all based on one book. This is what causes problems with this second film in the trilogy.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is easily the least interesting movie of The Hobbit trilogy so far and it is also less interesting than any of The Lord of the Rings movies. The reason for this is that the middle part of The Hobbit as a novel is the weakest part of the story. The beginning is great and features the first appearance of the classic character of Gollum. The ending, which we will see in the next movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is epic and a satisfying conclusion to the story. The middle, however, is all about the set up that leads to the ending. So really, not much too exciting happens in this part of the story and the conclusion is not very satisfying because, well, there isn't one.
There is a lot of falling and stumbling into both objects and situations in this movie. It would be humorous to see a video comprised only of the moments where people are falling in this movie. I wonder what the length of it would be compared to the 161 minute movie. It would probably still be longer than the average movie length.
The acting in this movie remains at the same great quality of the acting that has come in each of the previous movies. Particularly good is newcomer Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, an elf with fighting skills and a romantic dilemma. The dwarves are all great as well. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins fits the role perfectly. Look out for a cameo from the director of the film, Peter Jackson, that is hard to miss if you know what he looks like. Also, Stephen Colbert apparently is in this movie as well which is pretty hilarious.
The music in the film is much like the rest of the series. In fact, there is a theme carried over from the previous trilogy that can be noticed in the film. My only concern is that there is no new iconic theme for The Hobbit trilogy that matches the instant classic status of the repeating theme found in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know it's not easy to just create something as great as that, but still, I wish this trilogy had its own iconic theme to hum.
The one aspect of this movie that I found was surprisingly lacking in quality compared to the rest of the films is the special effects. Some of the CGI in this movie looked really fake to the point that I found myself laughing at certain shots. I'm not sure what the reason for this is, but I definitely noticed a low quality for some of the effects in this movie that I never noticed before in the other films.
Overall, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a fun adventure, but it suffers from not having a great beginning or ending. It just kind of starts in nowhere particularly interesting and then it ends just as the movie is beginning to get really interesting. I enjoyed this movie and I have high hopes that the sequel will be a great end to the trilogy, but I felt that this was by far the weakest in the series so far. I have loved all the other movies and only liked this one. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, while entertaining enough and well made enough, still shows the problems with turning one story into a three part movie. As it stands, The Hobbit is better as a book where the whole story can be read at once, complete with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. They found a way to have satisfying conclusion in the first movie of the trilogy, but this one just leaves one angry at the wait to see the story concluded. These facts, and the drop in effects quality, make this a disappointing, but overall still enjoyable movie.