Even though this sequel to “An Unexpected Journey” was hyped and billed as the must-see movie of the winter, a part of me resisted because of how the first film dragged on for almost three hours without much resolve.
With that in mind, I’m ecstatic to say that “The Desolation of Smaug” leaves “An Unexpected Journey” in the dust in terms of pace and excitement. The exhilarating action sequences brought life into a franchise that caused many to question the filmmakers’ decision to shoot the book in three films.
I saw “Smaug” in IMAX 3D High Frame Rate. The ticket cost quite a bit, and, for now at least, I am still not sold on the 48 Frame technology. Certain closeups of sets looked ‘too’ real, which pulled me out of the fantasy world of Middle Earth and onto a movie set. There are scenes, particularly the ones involving Smaug the dragon (voiced with menace by Benedict Cumberbatch), which make the pricey ticket worth it. I would not really recommend watching this film in HFR though, unless you are really eager.
Notice I didn’t really get into the story itself. There’s really not too much to say: it’s vintage Peter Jackson; it’s solid acting in a fantasy action epic, and as such, it’s an acquired taste.