For the first time, please welcome guest writer Wheeler Walz,
And his brilliant review of The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug;
The much anticipated second installment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic work The Hobbit was released into theaters on December 13, 2013. My hopes were high as I had extensively enjoyed the first installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I, again, was the first person admitted here in Broken Bow, and I openly admit to cheating. I work at the movie theater, but had asked opening night off so that I could go, and I let my friend Quinn and I in half an hour before the doors were opened. but I would have been better off to stay at home that night.
First off, I spent nearly two months gathering the necessary material for a hobbit costume. Pointy ears, hairy feet slippers, knicker pants, a medieval shirt, a long pipe, and a green vest. I really was the spittingimage of Bilbo Baggins. I let my friend Quinn borrow my Gandalf the Grey costume (I wore that last year). Actually, me going to the theater dressed as a hobbit with “Gandalf” was more accurate to the book than the Desolation of Smaug.
I’ll start on a positive note: the effects were very well done, and actors Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellan (Gandalf), and Benedict Cumberbatch (voice of the dragon, Smaug) played their parts wonderfully. They really captured their parts. Even Sylvester McCoy (most famous for his role as the Seventh Doctor), who plays the wizard Radagast, a character that was only mentioned in passing in the book, but played a part in the background events, was one of my favorite characters. It’s not their fault that director Peter Jackson is a money-hungry, greedy son of an orc.
The only thing in common with the book was the places that the company of dwarves stops on their journey. They run into some spiders, make some elves mad, ride in barrels, go to a town on a lake, and go to a mountain and make a dragon mad. Ladies and gentlemen, that, right there are the only details in which The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug followed the book. Characters were added, made more important, and a romance added. And it wasn’t even a romance that added to the story.
It was a romance between Kili the dwarf and a she-elf named Tauriel (she was a product of old Petey’s imagination.) Excuse me, Mr. Jackson, elves and dwarves hate each other. Maybe you should have re-read the book before you made a movie on it.
I knew there would be some added scenes, but I figured that they would be from the section ‘The Quest for Erebor’ from Unfinished Tales. While there was some of that (including a stunning confrontation between Gandalf and Sauron), it was mostly stuff that Peter Jackson pulled out of his hobbit hole.
To start off, when the company takes shelter at Beorn’s house, they run from him and eventually lock him out of his house. Oh, he’s a shape shifter, they did get that right in the movie. But he chased them in the form of a bear. They locked him out, slept in his house, and he snuck in in human form during the night, and is next seen serving the dwarves breakfast the next morning. Not even close to Gandalf’s ingenious method of getting Beorn to side with the company and give them shelter that was described in the book. Had it not been for Gandalf’s sheer cleverness, Beorn would, without a doubt, killed them.
A very dangerous character, unless you can get him on your side, which is completely disregarded in the movie. I imagine that something along these lines was going through Peter Jackson’s head during the making of that scene: “LOL let’s make him serve the dwarves breakfast after they break into his house.”
Then after that they proceed to go to Mirkwood while Gandalf leaves them and goes to fight the Necromancer, like in the book. They fight spiders and are captured by elves. Check check. But while in prison, Kili the Dwarf gets the hots for the elvish warrior, Tauriel. They flirt and he goes on about how his mother thinks that he’s reckless.
Then Thorin gets questioned by King Thranduil, and even though the argument didn’t go exactly how it went in the book, I was satisfied… until Thranduil started going on about his age and what he’s seen. His face rotted to look like a mortal’s face would after several thousand years of life. My reaction, to quote the 10th Doctor was “What, what, WHAT?” That was weird, and Tolkien would never put anything that disgustingly morbid in his writing. Especially The Hobbit, which is a children’s story!
Soon enough Bilbo breaks the dwarves out of prison in barrels like in the book. Only the barrels are not sealed, thus leaving the dwarves exposed and easily detectable. Once going down the river, it wasn’t long until they were discovered and trapped by a gate on the edge of the elven kingdom. Then the orcs attacked. While fighting off the orcs, Kili opens the water gate and takes an arrow to the knee. He is saved from further injury by his new girlfriend, Tauriel. The dwarves go off floating down the river fighting the orcs until they escape them.
They then meet up with Bard the Bowman, and are smuggled secretly into Lake-town. They keep quiet and don’t make their existence known until they are caught trying to leave. Then they are welcomed as heroes while Bard is ridiculed.
Then they head to the mountain, where Bilbo sneaks into the treasure room and awakens Smaug himself. Smaug. The best part of the movie. He looks fantastic and sounds fantastic. Soon Bilbo makes him mad, and things take a turn for the worst. He pursues Bilbo and the dwarves through the mountain, and after an attempt to kill Smaug, which involved heating up metal somehow making it come out of a statue and trying to solidify the dragon, Smaug heads out to destroy Lake-town for helping the dwarves.
I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Could this really be the highly anticipated movie adaptation of my favorite book? I don’t think I’ve been so disappointed in my life! Quinn and I ended up making fun of the movie the whole time we watched. I’d kick Peter Jackson in the Balrogs for messing up The Hobbit.
He can burn in the Mordor! May the flame of Udun torment him! There are no curses in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of men for this kind of treachery!
I hope Christopher Tolkien sues Jackson for every penny this blasphemous movie makes.
If you want to see a movie adaptation of The Hobbit, I would recommend the 1977 Rankin Bass animated version. I had such high hopes for the Desolation of Smaug after I enjoyed the first installment so much (I saw it in theaters 6 times… I get free movies since I work there)! I’ll wrap up my rant, and go think nasty things about Peter Jackson silently. Take it easy, and thanks Veronica for letting me write this review for your blog! May the grace of the Valar be with you.