The Grade Book: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Plot: In this second installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film trilogy, Thorin and his fellow dwarfs, with the help of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their fight to reclaim their homeland from the power dragon known as Smaug.
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Aidan Turner, Lee Pace and Luke Evans
Genre: Fantasy, Action-Adventure
Running Time: 2 hours and 41 minutes
U.S. Release Date: December 13, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
WE LIVE FILM GRADE AVERAGE: A-
AMOUNT OF GRADES IN THE GRADE BOOK: 14
(Lowest grade given to the film: B-, Highest grade given to the film: A+)
SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: While there may be some missteps in the CGI department, this second installment in the Hobbit film series is a vast improvement over it’s predecessor, and has fans very excited for the next and final film.
- Gabriel “Big Gabe” Alcantara
This trip back to Middle Earth a lot more satisfying than the last one. With more action, excitement, enchantment, and serious storytelling, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a more mature adventure but still manages to be a thrilling fun ride. There are a few CGI mishaps but overall, everything looks gorgeous. I love the design of Smaug and Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice work is chillingly awesome!
- Rokaan Al-zeer
A huge improvement over the first film. The Desolation Of Smaug is more epic, more exciting and more fun than the first film. Martin Freeman and Ian Mckellen are as a good as always. As well as some of the newer actors like Luke Evans and Evangeline Lilly. Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug was just plain terrifying. Though a love story does seem forced and some CGI does look a little obvious, it’s still a great film and one of my favorites of the year.
- Joe Cauwel
Five films in and Middle Earth is starting to feel a little old. The spectacle is wearing thin. Smaug is the special effects highlight but overall the CGI just seems to be getting worse. But as a good movie fan I am not ready to give up on this journey so I will be there for the sixth film.
- Tony Estrada (22tigerdude)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an epic, exciting, and mind-blowing sequel. I loved the original film and I loved this sequel a little more. The visual effects are phenomenal, the cinematography is astonishing with relaxing and beautiful scenery, and the direction by Peter Jackson is absolutely amazing. Peter Jackson proves why he is one of my favorite directors of all-time, he knows so much on how to please fans with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and he knows what he is doing with these Hobbit films. The acting is fantastic as well and Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug the dragon is mind-blowing, his deep and scary voice really fit the very menacing and horrifying dragon so well. Smaug in my book for one of my greatest dragons in film history. There’s more excitement, more interesting elements, and more journey. One Of The Best Films I’ve Seen This Year!!! Wow!!!
- Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD)
I didn’t love it as much as the 1st part, but its still a great part of what will be another epic masterpiece from Director Peter Jackson!!!
- Joey Hollywood
I really enjoyed this one, although some aspects bothered me, I overlooked them because I enjoyed the film in the moment. very exciting and I would recommend it.
- Mark Krawczyk
After the 1st one, I completely disconnected these films from the book for obvious reasons. This is the second sequel this year that was a better film than the first one in its series. The F/X for Smaug are fantastic. I was engaged in this film the entire time and forgot how long the film actually was. The 3D looked great as well and was not distracting during the action scenes. Thanks to this film I am actually looking forward to the third part.
- Matt Marshall
Alright naysayers of “An Unexpected Journey,” you got your wish. “Desolation of Smaug” is shorter, more fast-paced and energetic than its 2012 predecessor. However, turning this 300-page children’s book into a trilogy is more justified than ever with expanded and original material from Jackson and company that works well in the film’s favor. Bring on the Extended Edition next November.
- Scott Menzel (MovieManMenzel)
As shocking as this sounds, I have never been a huge fan of the LOTR trilogy, but I really enjoyed the second entry in the Hobbit. I found that despite it being long, I did find that it had a lot to deliver to the audience. It was action packed, interesting, and very exciting. I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo and as for Smaug, he is the most bad ass dragon to make it on the silver screen. It was a vast improvement over the first Hobbit film and I think the fanboys and fangirls will absolutely love this one!
- Kevin Morrison (That Movie Nerd Kevin)
While this rating may go up or down upon seeing the third film, this is the first Middle Earth movie to have problems, but it also has much of the great adventure, character and heart that the first Hobbit had and what made Lord of the Rings so special, particularly with Tauriel, the dwarves and Bilbo, and especially the Bard. While this is only about 7/8 of a film, most of that 7/8 is really good, though fans will have to cringe through that first half hour. Good!, but flawed
- William Bond Nunn
Been a big fan of Peter Jackson’s middle earth films for a long while and this is another great addition. Awesome action, great acting, Smaug has the voice of Cumberbatch, gorgeous locations to look at, fun to experience, and it makes me actually glad that The Hobbit films are a trilogy. Looking forward to There And Back Again.
- Austin Putnam
Now THIS is how you do a sequel! I’m a huge LOTR fan and now that I do see the flaws in Unexpected Journey; Desolation of Smaug improves upon everything. Fantastic visual effects, amazing cinematography, amazing battle sequences, fantastic acting, a fantastic score and a fantastic cliff hanger that makes me hungry for There and Back Again. To me this is more than the Dark Knight of sequels….this is the Empire Strikes Back of sequels this year. One of my favorites of the year.
- Christian Ruvalcaba (CobbsterReviews)
As someone is not the biggest LOTR/Hobbit fan, this one blew me out of the water! Such an entertaining blockbuster that had me sucked in all the way through. Smaug was terrifying, the acting is spot on, and the action completely kicked ass. This film left me wanting more. So give me more!
- Bryan Sudfield
This is indeed, a huge improvement over the first film. The Desolation of Smaug has more awesomeness, epicness, excitement, and fun. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitage are great once again! It’s great seeing Orlando Bloom once again as Legolas, I thought he was very good in the film. Luke Evans and Evangeline Lilly were both great as well. Benedict Cumberbatch was fantastic as Smaug, great addition to the cast. Most of the action scenes were very well done, particulary the barrel scene. Also, this film was very fast paced, which is probably because I was into the movie for the most of it. My only issues with the film was that at certain points… the CGI was kind of bothering and the love story was a little forced. It stinks that I have to wait a whole year to know how this is all going to end. Like I said before, I really enjoyed this film!