New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

When The Hobbit became a prequel trilogy everyone waited with bated breath for a Star Wars-esque let down. An Unexpected Journey kicked things off very similar to The Phantom Menace; a plodding start met with general dissatisfaction, but fan love. And, in true Menace fashion, slowly those fans turned against the film, to the point where everyone went into The Desolation Of The Smaug wondering just how bad it was going to be.

Now reactions (if not Smaug’s temper or the box office) are calming down, people’s thoughts are in. And the general consensus is rightly that while this suffers from some of the same issues as before, overall the film is an awful lot of fun; with a more consistent tone and pacing, this is a much more assured bringing of Tolkien’s small scale Hobbit into Jackson’s epic Middle Earth.

But the damage from the first part is done and many scorned fans were quick to condemn the film. Fair play to them for voicing their distaste, but so many of the criticisms seem off. Instead of worthy criticisms (it’s overly long, has too much filler and has questionable CGI) there’s picky looks at poor physics and the indestructible heroes, which never seemed to matter in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. To me it just looks like people are struggling to get off the hating bandwagon and are trying to grab onto what they can.

I’m not saying Desolation Of Smaug is perfect, far from it, but it’s certainly impressed some haters of the first film (like myself), which is a pretty impressive feat. And there’s more to enjoy than what’s there in a first, quickly paved viewing. Here are eleven things in The Desolation Of Smaug you probably missed.

Spoilers for The Desolation Of Smaug, as well as strong theorising on its sequel, There And Back Again, are present throughout.

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