Writer/Director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is a feast for the eyes and, besides the excellent script by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro , is worth seeing just for Production Designer Dan Hennah’s and Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie’s amazing work.
This film has none of the middle-of-a-trilogy issues I mentioned in my review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. There are enough new obstacles and monsters to confront and the introduction of exciting new characters to make this segment wholly interesting in itself.
Chief among the new characters is Evangeline Lilly’s superb portrayal of the Elvin warrior Tauriel. This Elf puts Katniss Everdeen to shame.
Continued excellent performances are also turned in by Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandolf and Ken Stott as the standout Dwarf Balin. Luke Evans as Bard is, also, a welcome addition to the overall splendid cast. Casting Directors Victoria Burrows, Amy and John Hubbard, Liz Mullane and Miranda Rivers deserve a shoutout for their stellar work in this regard.
Story creator J.R.R. Tolkein would be proud of this production.
I give The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug a 4+ out of 5.