Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a really great movie that is an improvement of An Unexpected Journey. The acting is still terrific as always, and the battle scenes are very enjoyable to watch. The new characters are memorable, especially Luke Evan's character or Smaug himself. The design of Smaug looks fantastic, and Benedict Cumberbatch gives out his A game performance that people are going to remember him for this. The effects are really good, and the film is not as much of a drag as An Unexpected Journey, although there were some scenes that drag for a bit. The love triangle wasn't really needed, but the film doesn't focus on it a lot. The score by Howard Shore is really catchy, and the barrel chase scene is one of the best parts of the film as the action is really great and is just everywhere which I'm ok with. It begins very well, and it ends on a great cliffhanger that got me excited to see the sequel. Even though The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug feels like a middle movie, it's a great enough middle film that I didn't care about it.