The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) - Review

Even rote fantasy blockbusters can — and usually do — feature the showdown of good and evil. To conjure true darkness, however, is a trickier feat. Early on in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), having proved his mettle as a budding thief and honorary comrade to Thorin's band of dwarves, finds himself at the top of a tree in the forest of Mirkwood, where he spies an idyllic vista of autumn leaves. Then he drops into a huge, sticky web, and a pack of giant spiders attempt to eat him alive. These monster arachnids have a fearful presence, like something out of a nightmare devised by Ray Harryhausen.

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