The influential Hollywood Reporter has praised Peter Jackson’s second Hobbit feature after its world premiere in Los Angeles this week.
Veteran reviewer Todd McCarthy writes:
“Nearly everything about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug represents an improvement over the first installment … The “unexpected journey” launched in last Christmas’ box-office behemoth becomes the heart of the matter this time around, making for plenty of peril, warfare, theme-park-ride-style escapes and little-guy courage…
“After exhibiting an almost craven fidelity to his source material the first time out, Jackson gets the drama in gear here from the outset with a sense of storytelling that possesses palpable energy and purpose. Toward the end, his perennial tendency to let bloat creep in reasserts itself to an extent; as in the Lord of the Rings films, not to mention King Kong, he has a hard time knowing when enough is enough even as the three-hour goalpost looms dead ahead. But for the most part he moves the episodic tale along with reasonable speed for a leviathan while serving up enough fights, close shaves and action-filled melodrama for an old-fashioned movie serial or a modern video game.”
McCarthy says the ending is “a true cliff-hanger, the resolution to which audiences will be lining up for on December 17, 2014.”
Read the full review here