For fans of all things associated with J.R.R. Tolkien, this weekend is better than Christmas. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which is the follow-up to last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," opened in wide release. Excited "Hobbit" fans were easy to detect in theatres throughout the nation.
In "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," stealthy Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman), avuncular Gandalf (played by Ian McKellen), and 13 dwarves continue their quest to Erebor, the dwarves' treasured homeland. Erebor has been taken over by Smaug, a sinister dragon. On their way, they are pursued by Orcs. Also on their journey, they meet several colorful characters. Among them are elves Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly).
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is an even better film than its worthy predecessor. It has a great villain. With his python-like tail and thick pickled skin, Smaug is destined to be in the pantheon of great movie dragons. He is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who makes him a very menacing character.
The movie has some of the best action scenes of any film this year. In one scene, Bilbo and the dwarves fight Orcs as they are going down a river. This is a very exciting scene. Near the end of the film, the battle Smaug in a castle. This is also an impressive scene.
Like all the films in this franchise, the look of the film evokes the descriptive prose of Tolkien. The castle near the end looks stunning.
Sequels are sometimes disappointing, but that is not the case with this film. Hopefully, next year's "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" will be just as good.