BEYOND DARKNESS… BEYOND DESOLATION… LIES THE GREATEST DANGER OF ALL.
On their journey to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the dwarves enter a mysterious forest… and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) confronts a dark power. The second chapter in the Hobbit franchise is an improvement on the first, darker in tone, with several engaging adventures such as a battle with giant spiders, a crazy (and funny) escape in barrels down a river and Bilbo’s showdown with Smaug the dragon (voiced with gusto by Benedict Cumberbatch). Beautifully designed in eye-popping 3D, but still bloated and very much an afterthought to the Lord of the Rings movies.
2013-U.S.-New Zealand. 161 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Peter Jackson. Screenplay: Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens. Novel: J.R.R. Tolkien. Song: “I See Fire” (Ed Sheeran). Cast: Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom… Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mikael Persbrandt, Stephen Fry.
Trivia: Also released in a 186-min. version. Followed by The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).