Bilbo Baggins is back. But is the second installment of Peter Jackson's trilogy worth another 161 minutes of your precious time?
The middle film about the Hobbit and Middle Earth falls you-know-where between the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and the fantastic The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
The Desolation of Smaug jumps straight into the action and doesn't relent until the cliffhanger ending. This action-oriented addition to the series is a fine improvement over the slower first offering, which spent appropriate (but often slow) time introducing us to the film’s characters.
Only five of the book's chapters are adapted here — the rest is added for the film series. The Hobbit series would probably have made a single film that would be easier to praise, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself anyway.
Simply put: Like the fab waterfall scene halfway in, it’s a fun action thrill ride for the holidays.
Award potential: The Hobbit series is an award-season downgrade from The Lord of The Rings series. Expect nods for Best Bakeup and Best Visual Effects, but nothing more.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.