Ebiri on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Still Bloated, Yet a Massive Improvement on the First

It didn’t seem like he’d be able to pull it off. After the calamitous disappointment of last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – which for all its box-office success seemed to drown in self-important bloat and endless narrative wheel-spinning – it didn’t seem as if Peter Jackson would be able to recover, to deliver an entertaining follow-up that did any kind of justice to J.R.R. Tolkien’s lively, brisk, and funny original. Much of the bloat is still there, but The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, is a real improvement – filled with inventive action set pieces and dramatic face-offs that we (finally, at long last, hallelujah!) care about.  Read More...



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