Reeling - Rene Rodriguez

December 15, 2013 12:00 AM

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (PG-13)

There is one thrilling, rib-tickling sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: A group of dwarves, riding inside empty wine barrels over rushing rapids and waterfalls, fends off an attack by an army of orcs with the help of bow-and-arrow-wielding elves. The setpiece is as fun and rousing as anything in Steven Spielberg’s canon. The action is sprawling and comes at you from all angles — there’s so much happening, your eyes don’t know where to look — and director Peter Jackson throws in some terrific slapstick as a bonus, leavening the furious excitement with laughs. It’s a showstopper.

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