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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Beyond darkness... beyond desolation... lies the greatest danger of all. 

Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Peter Jackson 
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage  

In his first instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, Peter Jackson expanded our horizons of Tolkien’s Middle-earth through ingenious storytelling and character development. He also re-defined the boundaries of motion picture; deciding to shoot with 48-frames per second 3D technology, rather than the traditional 24. With this second instalment, it is clear that Jackson is by no means finished surpassing our expectations.

The hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, continue their epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. On the brink of completing their mission, the dwarves must now venture across the treacherous forest of Mirkwood and escape the clutches of the wood-elves led by Thranduil. All of which is building up to the final climax; the epic clash against the fearsome dragon Smaug, a battle to determine who is truly king under the mountain.

While the cinematography, soundtrack and acting are all expectedly outstanding, perhaps the best aspect of this is instalment is the extent to which Peter Jackson expands upon Tolkien’s main narrative. Jackson builds upon authorial notes in Gandalf’s assault at Dol Guldur, returns favourite characters not seen in the book with Legolas, and even creates entirely new characters such as Tauriel, a female wood-elf. However, no matter which particular aspect of The Desolation of Smaug you enjoy the most, just know that this second epic fantasy prequel will leave your inner nerd anxiously dying to see part three.

Liam Johnston

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Spring Term (digital)
2013/2014 Spring Term (digital)