Again, not sure why I didn’t see any of these movies in the theater. I do love my Fantasy. I’ve been getting into Terry Brooks a lot more, and I am currently reading my (I believe) 51st R.A. Salvatore book (and I need to catch up fast). But it all started with this book. Today’s movie is the 2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

This movie isn’t really the second part of a trilogy. I mean, it is that as far as the movies go, but in reality it’s just the middle portion of the singular Hobbit book – so it basically picks up where the last one left off (more or less). Our crew of dwarfs, along with one hobbit and one old wizard, continue on their quest to return to the Lonely Mountain and reclaim it as the dwarf homeland.

I mean, that’s it. That’s most of the movie. They venture to the mountain, make it to the mountain, and have to deal with a giant dragon.

But it’s the adventures that take place during the journey itself that makes this movie for me. I’m not going to lie. I loved it.

I’m a sucker for a good quest. A lot of the fantasy books I read deal with heroes having to travel far and wide, and overcome many obstacles, the complete a quest of some kind. All of those books owe a debt to the Hobbit who really created the blueprint.

Out of the frying pan and into the fryer. That’s how a lot of this movie goes. The crew escape orcs and get taken in by a man-bear. They escape to a forest and become captives to giant spiders. I remember sitting in my college library reading this for the second time and distinctly remember getting freaked out by the spiders then.

And now.

From spiders they get saved and then reprimanded by elves – great seeing Orlando Bloom again, and I love Lost so seeing Evangeline Lilly anytime makes me happy. Escaping the elves lead to probably my favorite scene in the movie as all the dwarfs, hiding in barrels, get swept away by rapids leading to a great chase.

Ultimately the crew wind up becoming heroes to a local town (after promising to share their riches) and are sent off to take back the mountain by the terrible Smaug.

I’m going to go into every detail of this movie, but lets just say that when they think they’ve finally defeated the great wyrm, they were dead wrong. And his revenge is to have them witness him destroy the town where they just ventured from.

There’s a lot more detail than that, but that’s the basics of it and that’s where this movie ended. It was over 2 and a half hours long, and when it was over I wanted to watch the third and final installment right away – but that’s for another day.

A few things of note:

  • I knew Benedict Cumberbatch was the voice of Smaug. I knew that Martin Freeman (who I frigging love – watch Fargo) played Bilbo. I knew that they had a lot of interaction in this movie. What I can’t believe didn’t dawn on me was that I was basically watching Sherlock Holmes going after Dr. Watson. How did I not notice that!?
  • I loved seeing the Peter Jackson cameo right at the beginning:
  • I realize now I didn’t really mention Gandalf much. Sir Ian McKellen did have some big moments in this movie, but it was less about him and more about the dwarfs and hobbit – which I am sure is exactly how Gandalf would want it. Hey he’s going to be Sherlock Holmes too! What a small world.

I have 9 more spots to go, and two weeks of vacation ahead of me. If I don’t see the final installment of this tale I’d be shocked and chagrined.

21 down. 9 to go.

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