Spiders, Skin-Changers & Smaug

Beacon_Smaug1The Desolation of Smaug is mind blowing

Review by Robyn Pliscott


Oh, misty eye of the mountain below… I couldn’t believe the movie was over. 176 minutes of majestic cinema had never gone by so fast. The Desolation of Smaug was fantastic.

Once again, Peter Jackson delivered a movie as stunning as its story. At the end of An Unexpected Journey, the dwarven company (and a wizard and a hobbit) were left in a precariously safe position. True, they’d escaped from Azog and the other orcs, but one look at a map of Middle-Earth would show them stuck between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Only one hope of safety was left to the fifteen travellers: the lands and home of Beorn the skin-changer. While he was in man form, Gandalf thought Beorn to be a pretty good fellow, but in bear form – watch out! 

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After a brief rest at Beorn’s, the movie splits into two courses. Gandalf leaves the company at the edge of Mirkwood Forest. Perils aplenty lie along both routes, and in Dol Goldur the Necromancer, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, makes a sinister appearance. On the other side of Middle-Earth, Thorin faces off against Cumberbatch’s other character in the movie, the dragon Smaug.

Being the titular character of a movie isn’t easy, especially with the high expectations given by the trailers and An Unexpected Journey. Cumberbatch and Freeman, playing Smaug and Bilbo respectively, proved up to the challenge.

The resonant and draconian voice of Smaug shook the theater, and, well, as lotrconfessions.tumblr.com says …


Some of the actors in supporting roles were perhaps not as prepared. Another movie guest considered Legolas’ part underdeveloped compared to what it had been in The Lord of the Rings. While the love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and one of the dwarves “held promise,” it was “a little confusing.” Bolg’s advent was impressive and greatly appreciated. Azog’s hate of Thorin was almost tangible, and a point that created some intense battles that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

The movie varied greatly from the book but was improved by Jackson’s creativity. Next December, There And Back Again is sure to be a heart-racing, heartbreaking film. But while we wait for the third movie, we have nearly three hours of brand-new cinema to enjoy. I highly suggest that you get your tickets and experience the Desolation of Smaug for yourself. 


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Reporter, Robyn Pliscott, writes news and media reviews for The Brandon Beacon.  


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