The adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continues as he ventures on with a troupe of Dwarves led by the heir apparent to the throne Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) in reclaiming their homeland of Erebor.
They last left off continuing their journey to the mountainside that can only be accessed at a certain moment of time putting in a race against time element in the film.
But until then, they continue to have adventures in which a particular sequence of events that can only be described as a barrel of fun.
Along the way, the Orcs, previously encountered in the first film, are on their trail after their battles in the first “Hobbit” film. Gandalf must deviate from the group as he goes off and investigate darker forces in play led by the Orc's commander, Azog the Defiler (Manu Bennett), in Dol Gudur.
The group on their own must venture through the woods featuring inhabitants that will ensure that they do not make it through as well as finding themselves in the realm of Elves.
The film attempts to place romance in the film when Elven captain Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) find herself between her own kind and one of the Dwarves, Kili (Aiden Turner). But her character redeems the film's attempted love affair with her combat ability showcasing her as one of the few strong female characters in the film.
Helping them onward with their journey to the mountainside is the first apperance of man with Luke Evans as Bard, who conceals the group as they make way to another civilization.
Once inside in the city of Erebor, the aforementioned dragon, Smaug, guards the ruins and its treasure is finally revealed and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. It's up to master thief Bilbo using his wit and his new found courage to retrieve a stone that will unit the race of dwarves behind Thorin.
Mr. Freeman and Mr. Cumberbatch’s interaction with one another upon the piles of wealth that drove the dwarves mad doesn’t equate to the moment when Bilbo meets Gollum.
Despite the troupe’s small stature they shows that as a unit they are capable of fending for themselves where others have met their demise against the dragon’s speed, invulnerability and the intense heat.
For all the glimpses of the dragon the appearance of Smaug proves to be resilient foes while other forces emerges setting up for the showdown on Middle Earth.
Bilbo still under the influence of the ring and its power untold finds his character going through a change as the once youthful lad looking for adventure and excitement to an isolated character fnding himself ever concerned with his precious.
Also Mr. Armitage's character is also under a different influence with the Arkenstone, a jewel giving ascendency to the throne legitimacy. In his quest for power, he find himself willing to sacrifice those that undertook the journey with him to regain the throne on behalf of the family's honor.
Director and screenplay writer Peter Jackson known for putting in sudden abrupt moments in the film before proceeding to the next scene actually stops the film before proceeding onto the next tale in “The Hobbit” and its impending war on Middle Earth, but until then, there’s a dragon on the prowl.
Classification: Redbox New Blu-Ray Release
Movie Grade: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The film finds itself at a faster pace than its first film in the series, but too many characters to remember and not enough invested to care whether or not the dwarves and Bilbo are able to accomplish what they set out for.
Blu-Ray Grade: 1 out of 5 stars:
It features a segment that takes a look of New Zealand with the cast and crew promoting a type of vacation destination in describing the land.
Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening image
Timing: 2 Hours, 41 Minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
- Director & Screenplay: Peter Jackson
- Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Phillpa Boyens and Guillermo Del Toro.
Book: J.R.R. Tolkien