A rant about The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

A rant about The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

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Sometimes everything is just the worst.

At least, that’s what I think of Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent, CGR riddled, epically long attempt at The Hobbit.

Or, more accurately, Someone’s Nightmare of the Hobbit.

Or, Thorin Oakenshield and Kili (Why Do We Care so Much About Kili These Days; is it Because the Actor is Hot?), featuring a Huge Dragon and a Brief Appearance by the Hobbit.

Like most people, when I saw the title I naively assumed it would be based on the book, The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien.

Instead, the movie was based on what I can only assume to be someone’s dream of The Hobbit 20 years after they lightly scanned the book in between visits to a mental institution.

Or maybe someone shredded The Hobbit with a weird fantasy romance novel and bits of the Lord of the Rings and saw which words stuck with static cling to a giant balloon and turned that into a script?

All I know for sure is that both Bilbo Baggins and the actual plot of The Hobbit were really not important to Jackson and it was with an awkward afterthought that he attempted to squeeze them into the movie at all.

Let me express my rage with a pie chart.

hobbitses

The movie stole the finesse, lightness and cleverness of The Hobbit and turned it into a huge stew of special effects with epic background music and little to no regard to the actual plot line or character development so beautifully laid out in the fun novel Tolkien scribed before turning his hand to his more serious work, The Lord of the Rings.

*spoiler alerts ahead*

One of my biggest disappointments, and one that I think best epitomises Jackson’s molestation of the book, has to be the dragon scene. In the novel it is intense wordplay between two characters sizing each other up; with Bilbo given an edge by the Ring and a sharp mind (as we saw in the riddle scene with Gollum – he has courage, and wits!) and Smaug let down bu his overconfidence and pride. I was keenly anticipating the intense back and forth between Bilbo and Smaug, played by actors who act quite closely together in Sherlock.

“Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!” – says Smaug

But Jackson wasn’t willing to keep that scene to the intense drama of words and instead turned it into a long and violent chase scene, using lots of special effects and drawing in his favourite characters – the dwarves – and minimising his use of clever little Bilbo. THIS MOVIE IS NOT ABOUT THE DWARVES, PETER JACKSON.

The beauty of The Hobbit is how it shows that a small person with a sharp tongue can win against those bigger and stronger. The world is not just for those with strong arms and fast legs. But Jackson completely missed this important point and turned an essential scene into something completely different and for no discernible good. He does this throughout the film.

There are so many scenes I could use to describe this, such as the spiders (one of Bilbo’s best moments in the book is turned into Legolas prancing around), the escape from the Wood Elves (turned into a massive fight scene on the river) and more; but I feel that belabours the point.

Jackson also rushed through essential plot points and beautifully tense scenes to squeeze in side dramas that are not only unnecessary but also STUPID. Kili and some elf lady do not need to fall in love. That is stupid. Legolas does not have to appear in the film (is he even a wood elf? They are not nice in the book – oh wait, Jackson never read the book…). Covering Smaug in gold is also stupid. Kili getting a leg injury adds NOTHING to the story but takes up a disproportionate amount of time in the movie. That is ALSO stupid.

BUT FOR WHY PETER JACKSON. BUT FOR WHY!

Sometimes, everything is just the worst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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