Huge fan of the LOTR trilogy. Yes, I saw them all in IMAX. Yes, I have them all on BluRay. Yes, I have one weekend a year when I watch all three back-to-back in a self-constructed marathon. But I have to say I was disappointed in the first of The Hobbit trilogy. The character development was weak, the pace was slow and the plot seemed to ramble.
I’m happy to report, despite the critics’ panning, the sequel, Desolation of Smaug, is infinitely better.
A hefty $20 price for the 3-D IMAX viewing may cause some to pause but I still recommend going this route. The CGI in this installation of the The Hobbit trilogy is exceptional even by LOTR standards; seeing the dragon, Smaug, up close and personal is worth the price alone. Beyond the FX, the plot is much more focused and we get a necessary history of the relationships between the Elves, Hobbits and Dwarfs, retrospectively adding meaning to the LOTR trilogy and adding a distinct sense of urgency to the conflict they face collectively.
Despite the conflict, this installation is characterized by much more action and humor; I can’t remember so many outbursts of laughter whilst viewing prior LOTR films in theatres.
The previous installation was dubbed An Unexpected Journey, however it seems more appropriate for this film. Almost 3 hours later you will be thoroughly entertained. You will also learn that you have just witnessed a cliff hanger and now you will wait like the rest of us for the precious to arrive in theatres.