‘Hobbit’ gang returns for adventure in sequel
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” has an inevitable quest on foot theme that comes straight from the J.R.R. Tolkien novels. Trekking along the paths to a dragon and stolen gold, the dwarves face spiders, water and fire. Their quest through elaborate caverns displays exotically awesome catacomb visuals; however, the key is “their” trip. Be they dwarves, elves, a wizard or dragon, the vastness of the venue overrides opportunities for injecting hints of empathy into otherwise sketchy personas.
That’s not to equate “sketchy” with “cardboard.” Elf warrior Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly of “Lost”) slightly hooks up with Legolas (Orlando Bloom), timid Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) retains his unflappable stance, and Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) who leadership occasionally stalls before he finally takes on the scaly-skinned, rawhide-winged and scorching mega flame-throwing exhalations.
Before confronting the treasure trove of the dragon, the dwarves have undergone an Indiana Jones marathon of slips, slides, and rub-off-the-silk webbing adventures. Ultimately, it’s the spectacle of the New Zealand pristine vistas which bridges jogging sessions.
Considering the Middle Earth nuances and names, “Desolation” simulates the “Lord of the Rings” series lacking its intensity, novelties, and unified crusading purpose. The dwarf legion seems stuck, waiting for motivation , which obviously will come in the final flick in the series.
Stretching “The Hobbit” into a trilogy does bring expected pacing yawns (though the strikingly detailed caverns are 3D eye candy); yet I’m still itching from the lengthy spider and silk shivers which has more lethal visuals than the dragon’s fiery temper tantrums.