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Smaug ticks all the boxes
Thursday 23rd January 2014 @ 19:17 by Fraser Cottrell
Film Reviews


Wow, wow and more wow, what a film. Desolation of Smaug is the second part of the amazing three part series that is The Hobbit, directed by the extremely talented Peter Jackson. This is a real cinema treat.

The film was amazing, combining fast action, mystical lands and even a hint of comedy. It ticked all the boxes, after being in the making for nearly three years it was bigger and better than the first. I was lucky enough to see the film as the director intended, in full 3D and high frame rate (48FPS). After seeing the first film in 3D 24FPS, seeing the second in a high frame rate changed my viewing experience totally, it truly was like looking through a window into another world. The higher frame rate certainly adds to the drama and action happening the whole way through the film.

I’m not a lover of the fads of cinema such as 3D and recently HFR but I have to say this was the first film that genuinely does use these things to its advantage, immersing you in the film on a whole new level. The 3D effects in this film were perfect, I found myself enthralled and unable to take off those ridiculous glasses, enjoying what the extra D was bringing to the film.Just to give you a quick none spoiler. The trilogy continues from the first film with Bilbo and his fearless Hobbit pals on a quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug the dragon.

But things as always get a little tricky on the way.Watching a film can be like entering a whole new world and this second Hobbit film was just that. The mystical landscape of New Zealand is the setting, letting us bask in the beauty of the scenery around us. Most films use lots of CGI to create the perception of an imaginary world, but The Hobbit avoids this technique. Instead it uses stunning locations and ground-breaking sets to make the journey incredible.  Nevertheless CGI was used to create the detailed monsters we see on screen such as the ever-powerful Smaug.

Standing at what seemed like 100 feet tall, this dragon was breathtaking. Every detail from its large mouth down to the bright orange eyes, this really was the future of CGI in the cinema. Rated as a 12A I would say this film is a great one to see with the older kids, they will really enjoy the classic story, plus the way it has been brought to life on screen.

The casting is flawless as always with such a popular film. But as with all movies  there are bad points, Desolation Of Smaug runs for a hefty two hours 41 minutes and it does seem to drag in the opening half an hour or so but that is soon put behind you when the action begins.

All in all this film is a must see this Christmas, with incredible visuals and great acting this is probably my favourite film of 2013. I really cannot imagine how they top this one in the third and final film of the trilogy. But I really can’t wait to find out. If you get a spare three hours, go and see this amazing feature at your local Cineworld Ashton Under-Lyne this December.