After the enjoyable yet underwhelming An Unexpected Journey, Jackson delivers with the long-expected sequel.

Although darker in tone and colour palette, the film maintains momentum through extensive action and character development laced with humour and sensitivity; something most evident in the moving relationship between Kili and new addition Tauriel.

Nobody immerses us in fantastical worlds like Jackson and Weta, and the depths of detail and beauty in the visuals are, as ever, awe-inspiring.

It’s a shame then that a repetitive climactic scene and frustrating ending leave you unsatisfied, lacking the closure of the Helm’s Deep sequence in The Two Towers.

Regaining the epic scope and portentousness of The Lord of the Rings and bringing some brilliant new additions to Tolkien’s text, this is visually rich, emotionally engaging, compelling filmmaking at its best. Just why end it there?



CAST: Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly

DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson

WRITERS: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens & Guillermo Del Toro.

SYNOPSIS: Bilbo and the company of dwarves continues on their journey to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim their homeland and slay the dragon Smaug.