The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

On Friday, I joined some of my friends to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at the IMAX cinema in London. I’d never been to the IMAX before, so I was rather excited about that part. Admittedly, I watched part 1 of The Hobbit trilogy on a plane, and wasn’t all that grabbed by it, so I wasn’t as excited as I could have been about the film itself. Back in the day, my friends and I would queue outside the cinema for hours before it opened so that we could watch the first screening of each Lord of the Rings film.

Hobbit 2 was enjoyable enough. It was a little disjointed, a lot of running hither and thither; running from this, running to that, running around looking for the other. I rather wanted everybody to stop running and sit down and have a cup of tea for longer than five minutes.

Still, I had one request of the film, which it more than delivered. I wanted more dragon than the first film. Smaug was big and gorgeous and had plenty of screen time.

I loved how he flowed across the gigantic screen, how his chest glowed like embers before he breathed fire across everything.

Mostly I loved the look in his eyes when confronted with the biggest gold item he’d ever seen. Adoration, delight, greed. I loved how he shook molten gold from his scales and it rained coins.

There was another unexpected love from this film. He came on screen, and having forgotten the book which I read some 18 years ago, I stared, open-mouthed. Who is that?! Seriously. Who was he? He was smoking hot.

Bard the Bowman. I don’t really think he needs explaining. Just look at him.

It was a good romp of a film, it had some touching and funny moments, it was enjoyable. It was a little bit too long… If it had had more Bard, it might have been more tolerable.

In fact, it should have been called Bard, and been all about Bard. I look forward to more of him in the next film.

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