Dwarves, Elf-Maidens, and Orcs with bits of metal implanted into their chests.
The Hobbit part 2: when the film concluded at the end, they left us at an interesting climax/cliffhanger. Now initially – about 30 seconds after the film ended – I was somewhat annoyed that I did not get the chance to see Lake-town set ablaze. Yet for all my frustrations when the film suddenly cut out like that, there was a certain level of understanding as Peter Jackson had to end it somewhere in order to lead into the third and final chapter of the three-part film series. Now were Jackson to show Lake-town under attack prior to the film cutting out, it would sort of ruin the mood as the plot in the book spirals down the slope of the climax and conclusion from that point onwards.
Yet I digress, you came here to read about fair Elf-Maidens and hearty Dwarven warriors. Well the actress who plays the Wood Elf captain Tauriel does an excellent job at finding the balance between tenderness and aggressiveness. Tauriel does not come off as a sort of push over, but has a soft side in which the most unlikely character in the series ends up poking – perhaps even triggering some undiscovered emotions previously hidden from the captain. Now the voice actor for the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) performs admirably when delivering his lines in the sequence where Bilbo and Smaug have a bit of a discussion over the state of affairs in which lead Bilbo to the mountain, and where he discusses how Thorin has deemed Bilbo virtually expendable.
Sir Ian McKellen does an excellent job once again as Gandalf the Grey; though it saddened me to see less of him in the film as his performance was something to behold. With that said however, in the book Gandalf does take off here and there, so it is something that many of us will just have to get over: there is always the battle of the five armies to look forward to in the third film. Now as for the Bard from Lake-town; I swear he was played by the same actor who portrays Legolas. However upon further investigation, it seems that a Welsh actor by the name of Luke Evans does the part of Bard the Bowman, rather than Orlando Bloom. Some might guess the two men are twins perhaps?
Aside from that, the acting from the other key players of the series is about the same as they were from the first film: all amazing, and all do a wonderful job at portraying their respective characters. With the second installment we really start to see Thorin develop a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the quest, citing at times that sacrifice was necessary in order to achieve their objectives, and that the quest was not worth the lives of those “left behind” (take that with a grain of salt). Ultimately the series has me hooked, and I will once again have to wait another year to see the next Hobbit film – hopefully this time my popcorn will have a bit more butter; budget cuts I tell ya, they ruin everything (humor intended). Anyways folks that about concludes this little after-action report on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Thank you all for reading, and I will see you next time.