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Family Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (PG-13)

TheHobbitTheDesolationofSmaug ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 161 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. So much fantasy violence! Like “An Unexpected Journey” before it, “The Desolation of Smaug” feels more violent than the previous “Lord of the Rings” films, with lots of action, battle scenes, arrow wounds, stabbings, sword fights, and many, many beheadings. The human or human-like characters aren’t really harmed, but many orcs, spiders, and other baddies are killed in pretty gruesome ways. It’s not bloody or grotesque, but the violence is omnipresent. Otherwise, a very lightly suggested romantic subplot.

Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ still isn’t as good as the director’s own ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, but it’s certainly an improvement upon his first ‘Hobbit’ film, ‘An Unexpected Journey.’ Although ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ is still noticeably bloated, it doesn’t drag its feet nearly as much as its predecessor.

By Roxana Hadadi

It’s unsurprising that director Peter Jackson doesn’t want to leave his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy behind. All three films were fantastic adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original novels, satisfying fanboys and casual moviegoers alike, while drawing in bunches of money, critical acclaim, and even some Academy Awards. With his “Hobbit” trilogy, Jackson just can’t let “LOTR” go—his latest, “The Desolation of Smaug,” is full of One Ring foreshadowing that didn’t exist in Tolkien’s original work. But at least it’s faster-paced, more cohesively plotted, and more ambitious than “An Unexpected Journey,” which in its overall averageness was a profound disappointment.

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