Sweet Trailer…'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

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It feels like we were reviewing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey only yesterday, and yet here we are, staring down the first full trailer for the next installment of Peter Jackson’s intentionally, gloriously obtuse adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Audiences and critics drew some pretty significant dividing lines in their reactions to An Unexpected Journey (opinion was split even on this very site), but I have a feeling that The Desolation of Smaug will be more universally pleasing; with the set-up out of the way, the film should just be nothing but pure adventure, and if nothing else, the trailer seems to confirm that suspicion. Check it out below:

Dwarves in barrels, spider attacks, orcs and elves duking it out, and- most importantly- what appears to be a really awesome-looking dragon. I’m not sure what else a trailer for The Desolation of Smaug needs to do apart from show off its titular winged menace and hint at the eponymous desolation; suffice to say, I’m excited. What the clip doesn’t do is showcase the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch, for whom 2013 has been a good year, but maybe that’s best saved for the actual experience of watching the movie.

Apart from that, there’s little else to talk about- no synopsis is really required, since the basics of The Hobbit have already been provided per An Unexpected Journey. Here, Bilbo and Thorin’s company continue on their quest to reclaim Erebor from the dragon Smaug, running into trouble with Thranduil (Lee Pace), the Elven King, along the way- not to mention Legolas (returning actor Orlando Bloom), his son, as well as Tauriel (Evangeline Lily), chief of Thranduil’s guard and a character totally invented for the film. I desperately want to throw on my Tolkien hat and pick apart Legolas’ presence here, particularly given the sentiment he expresses toward martial involvement in the clip, but I’ll wait until I’ve seen the film to judge- even if it does seem forced and out of place.

In the end, though, it’s a minor point- Jackson has my ticket already, and I know I’ll be in theaters on December 13th to catch this sucker. What about the rest of you?