Sunday morning, my wife and I caught the early (non-3D) showing of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Even with the 11 AM start time, the theatre was mostly full. Three hours later, we emerged, slightly bleary-eyed and packed with popcorn*, but with big smiles on our faces. Put simply, we both really enjoyed it and thought it significantly better than the first instalment of the trilogy.
It was beautiful, action-packed, and filled with more fantastical elements than any of the previous Peter Jackson, Middle-Earth films. True, in some places it wandered rather far from the source material, but I actually believe it was a better movie for it. The ending was a little sudden and seemingly arbitrary, but we all know it is a trilogy, so that’s not a major issue for me.
If you are a fan of high-fantasy and can accepted that the movie is not the book, then I think you would be hard-pressed not to enjoy the movie.
* British cinemas generally offer two types of popcorn, salted and sweet. Neither tastes as good as American buttered popcorn, but then neither leave you feeling quite so queasy either. Salted is a bit too bland for my taste, so I go with sweet. I'm not sure what the 'sweet' flavour is, but it is pretty light.