Altered but Good
With a cast that features the likes of Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, and Martin Freeman; it’s hard to make a bad film. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a highly entertaining visual tour of Middle-earth and its inhabitants that is also action packed from start to finish. Some of Jackson’s tinkering with the plot pays off, while other changes feel too out of place, but overall it’s a fantastic movie, and a great addition to the Tolkien film universe. It’s better than the first film, and sets up an angst ridden cliffhanger for the third, so it accomplished its task as a middle act in a trilogy, and is well worth a viewing on the big screen.