The Hobbit 2: Dwarves, elves, hobbits and the abomination that is Smaug

Published: January 5, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a sequel to The Hobbit trilogy and will not disappoint you. PHOTO: AFP

This sequel to The Hobbit trilogy will excite and captivate both, the ardent fans of the book as well as the casual moviegoer who wants to see a fantasy based, Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) rich, action-filled, powerhouse that it is.

Directed by the able Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, has now become as synonymous with being associated with everything ‘Tolkien’ related as the Hobbits themselves. With a running time of almost two and half hours, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a big feature film by Hollywood standards and one won’t be bored by its long duration since there is something for everyone, from kids to adults alike. There’s even a love triangle for those heartless romantics out there but let’s just keep it at that on an off chance of revealing any potential subplots.

Director Peter Jackson has won three Oscars for this work in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Source: IMDb

Some might say that Mr Jackson has taken some creative liberties, and added some plots and characters in the movie, which have no footing in the original book written by J R R Tolkien, who also wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy and won three Hugo awards. Fortunately he doesn’t steer too far from the original source matter.

J R R Tolkien, authour of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy. Photo: Reuters

The base synopsis of the movie is that Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and company, a group of dwarves, are on a perilous journey to Erebor, the ‘lonely mountain’ to reclaim their home, birth right and treasure which was taken away from them by Smaug. They encounter many obstacles and hindrances in between.

(Above) Thorin and company (Below) The lonely mountain. Source: IMDb

There are many instances in which the audience will be awed by the sheer grandeur and scale of the movie, especially in those scenes where Jackson shows his technical and visual prowess of delivering some of the most visually striking moments of the motion picture. The ‘barrel scene’ is an example; another one is but of course the dragon itself.

Unarguably, the high point of the movie is the unveiling of the dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch from the series Sherlock). ‘The chief and greatest of calamities’, as Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) puts it when he is conversing with the mighty beast in order to appease him but failing miserably in the process.

Smaug is horrifyingly nightmarish and the electric voice of Cumberpatch adds the icing on the cake. There is little doubt that it’ll send shivers down the spine of those who’ll witness it. The repartee between Bilbo and Smaug is stupendous.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins). Source: IMDb

The CGI team deserves a standing ovation for conceiving this abomination that is Smaug; each emotion, each scale on the dragon, the movement, the wings and the fire effects has been exhaustively and meticulously shown in great detail. The audio score of the movie is also exceptionally good and resonates well with the on-going theme, whether it be action or emotional.

Photo: Reuters

In a nutshell, movie goers won’t be disappointed and will have their money’s worth when they see this movie. The movie studio is celebrating all the way to the bank as it is making an incredible amount from the box office business throughout the world.

It has topped movie charts in the United States and Canada, earning a worldwide total to $404 million just after two weeks. So believe me when I tell you, this movie comes highly recommended.

Photo: AFP

Salman Junejo

Salman Junejo

The author is an agriculturist by profession and runs an agriculture company by the name of GRJ AGRO(www, He has a family background in politics and agriculture. He tweets @salmanjunejo (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • -SHAGY-

    For the love of God!…its cumberbatch and not cumberpatch!!!!!!Recommend

  • DarthMaul208

    I saw it yesterday in HFR 3d for £9.50 it was worth it but so dull and dragged out the HFR made it look to clear and lowered the quality of the film as some scenes looked like a drama production. The dragon looked incredible but it looked and felt too human. it suddenly ends annoyingly as I just want it too end in the SPOILER battle SPOILER END Peter Jackson should really look deep down about these films as there no where near the quality of LOTR. I think he focused more on the visuals than the story in which it was little. Can anyone name the hobbits from the film? it’s essential. Legolas is my favourite character but he was a knock-off and he looks different as opposed to Gandalf who looks the same and Spoiler Sauron SPOILER END (just kidding) why the hell was he in the film? let’s hope the third is better!Recommend

  • BrendanJ09

    Poor review, you don’t point out why ‘smaug is an abomination, obvious controversial title to drag in readers.

    What I don’t understand is why gravity can be praised for its cgi but the hobbit can’t. We live in a computer age. Stop fluffing over cgi. Personally I thought it was a step up. Enjoyable. Needed some tweetking but was at perfect length.Recommend

  • Critical

    Though I loved the movie… I hate the fact that these movie production houses are splitting novels into multiple movies just to make more money….

    FYI,Lord of the Rings trilogy was 3 movies made from three 400 page books…but Hobbit is a trilogy made from a single 300 page book…In the first part,we have to wait till 45 minutes till they even start of to a journey.. and unnecessary addition of characters which were not in the book like Saruman,Isildur,Legolas and a forced twilight themed love triangle between Legolas,Kili and a she-elf Tauriel who never appeared in any of the books….

    I agree that Harry Potter 7 was split into 2 movies as everyone complained that the 4th,5th and 6th were all 600 page books and adapting into a 3 hr movie had to make serious cuts in the plotline….But that doesnt mean every book should be split…..

    The worst was Twilight-Breaking Dawn(drawbacks of not being single).The book had literally no story to even make a single movie,but was made into 2 movies… So they had to fill the movie with an elaborate wedding,5 minute chess play,Cullen family standing in the room at different spots looking at each other and not to forget the long stares between the characters which makes u feel whether if it was Brokeback Mountain 2 with Edward Cullen and Jacob Black…

    Even my current favorite Hunger Games have been splitted into 2 parts for the final book …So I need to spend atleast $15 extra…Recommend

  • Buba101shrimps .

    In all fairness to the Director and producers, the Hobbit Trilogy is not just “the hobbit” book, as it encompasses a great deal of the added material that Tolkien wrote to tie up the gap between the Hobbit and LOTR. So for example (spoiler) when Gandalf leaves the Dwarves at the edge of Mirkwood there is no reference in the Hobbit (the book) as to where he has gone and what he is doing. I think the producers and the Director felt it was more logical to fill in the gaps and also get more bite for their buck out of Ian Mckellan.Recommend

  • Buba101shrimps .

    Off the top of my head: Thorin, Balin, Gloin, Fili, Kili, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dwalin, Dori and Nori.

    Orlando has aged noticeably over the last 10 years, hes got a bit of Leonardo Dicaprio face chub going on. And Sauron is in the film because he is the main Antagonist. Everything evil in the Hobbit or LOTR (- the balrog and Shelob) are all direct results of Sauron’s existence so he is by that reasoning the main Antagonist. He is the Necromancer in Dol Guldur so it only stands to reason that he would be in the film. I don’t understand why this confuses you.Recommend

  • DarthMaul208

    I can name about 3 from the film! orlando needs to go back to his younger self for the next one! Sauron was a bit of a waste I know he was in the book but in the context of the film there’s no reason for it. he pushes Gandalf around and does some “flame eye” In LOTR he doesn’t do anything that bad apart from being THE EYE!!!. Why didn’t he do pushing in LOTR. why is Shelob related to Sauron?Recommend

  • Johnroth

    Totally wrong. Shell and the Balrog are both ancient spirits that predate Morgoth and have NOTHING to do with the rise of Sauron. And the Necromancer was the High King who was given one of the Nine, who was later killed by Eowyn. The criticism is valid. Read the books.Recommend

  • Buba101shrimps .

    I meant everything apart from – was intended as a minus sign. my bad. Those two were around before Sauron or at least were not of his making. thats what I meant to say. I agree that his introduction didn’t really add much, just abit of pushing about, but I guess the love triangle wasn’t really necessary either.Recommend