Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

image The second chapter in the Middle Earth set dwarf dynasty is slightly more interesting than its plodding prequel predecessor, upgrading Peter Jackson’s Hobbit 2 to a C+. Basically (1) an elfin forest needs better arachne-pest control, (2) a river escape in wine barrels drifts the adventurers to a lethargic lake town and (3) dwarves and an invisible Hobbit fight a very pyro-imprecise talking dragon in his treasure room. These raiders of a lost Arkenstone are especially frustrating when inside forests, castles or mountains, because there gravity and logic become that of video games rather than of cinema. You don’t fall into endless chasms in this fantasy, but rather a mysterious hook, mining cart, spider web or other device appears to save all central characters from freefall. Amazing how with all this action, it’s mostly notable for draggin’.