Release: December 13th, ask 2013
Running time: 161 minutes
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Peter Jackson, viagra canada Guillermo del Toro, J. R. R. Tolkien
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom
Dragons, those impressive legendary fire-breathing creatures, have been with us for a long time. Stories about them have been handed down to us generation after generation. Although predominately reptilian in appearance, these mythical giants are rooted in two very different cultural traditions.
In Eastern mythologies, the dragon appears largely in a form of a Long, a beneficent dragon-like creature from Chinese folklore. There’s also Vritra, a dragon-like creature who appears in the early Vedic religion. In the Vedas, Vritra is known as Ahi and was said to have three heads. In Japan they took the myths from China, Korea and India and their stories told of water deities depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
In Western culture, the dragon came from European folk tales related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, with influences from the Chinese, Japanese and Indian dragon stories. In our modern age these stories continue to be retold, the characters and stories may change slightly, but the depiction of the dragons remain as impressive as they were thousands of years ago, whether it be J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons or Peter Jackson’s second installment of his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
The film picks up with Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the twelve dwarves making their way to the edge of the forest of Mirkwood. Before they can reach the Lonely Mountain they must first get through the hurdles of what immediately lies before them. It’s here they face the skin-changer Beorn, an army of terrifying giant spiders and finally capture by the Elves, including Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and another familiar face, Legolas (Orlando Bloom).
Without Gandalf to help them out of this one, Bilbo relies on his precious ring to outwit the Elves and free the dwarves while the White Wizard goes on his own quest to find out the true identity of the Necromancer. With Bilbo and the dwarves now approaching Lake-town, a run-down village at the foot of the Lonely Mountain, the scene is set for a confrontation with Smaug as they try to reclaim what the dragon once stole.
Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, is the last great dragon of Middle-earth. In the previous film we see him claiming the Lonely Mountain and all the treasures of Erebor and the surrounding human areas, including the town of Dale. In this film we get to see him up close and Jackson doesn’t disappoint us with the visuals. The dragon is as astonishing and fierce as we hoped and the scenes with Bilbo trying to flatter him so he can steal the Arkenstone, the most prized object of all the treasure of Erebor, are pure gold to experience.
While being the first film not to feature Gollum (Andy Serkis), The Desolation Of Smaug, I’m glad to say, is a triumphant return to fantasy cinema. The problems I experienced with The Hobbit were all down to the HFR which took away a lot of the gloss and grandeur of what cinema’s all about and made it look like television instead. This time it truly looks, feels and sounds like a cinema experience. The gloss is back and the 3D worked well as part of the story. The pacing is a lot better as well, balancing humorous moments, and even a blossoming romance, with action dazzling scenery that kept me entertained for its entire duration.
Leaving us with another cliffhanger ending after such a thrilling ride, Jackson has again ensured that come December 2014, we’ll once again be in line for the concluding part of another great trilogy, while also doing his part in helping to keep the legend of the dragons alive for a new generation to come.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .