What’s Wrong with The Hobbit

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Written by Bryce Waller

After my second viewing of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tonight, I am finally ready to write this article. Some of these words will be hard to write, but I have to be honest with myself, and honest with you…my peeps.

Let it be known that I did enjoy this film, I just think it could have been much better.  It is pretty hard not to enjoy this film even if you haven’t read the book or seen any of the original LOTR films. Also, please note that there WILL BE SPOILERS

1. Dwarvish/Elvish Love- NO!

THIS is more acceptable as far as I'm concerned.

THIS is more acceptable as far as I’m concerned.

The love story between Kili and Tauriel. First, Tauriel is not in the book. I don’t have a problem with Jackson taking some liberties for what he thinks would add to the story, but this one was just unnecessary. I can’t help but feel like this one was put in to appease all the poor girlfriends out there who were “dragged” to see The Desolation of Smaug.

I’m just saying, if you have a lady friend who does not like The Hobbit, you might want to think twice about your relationship.

Thorin makes it crystal clear (like…Bender clear) that he hates elves and all of his kinsmen should as well; and most of them do. This hatred goes even deeper with the Mirkwood/Lorien elves (or the wood-elves). This was explained in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as the wood-elves abandoned Thorin and his people during their greatest time of need – Smaug’s attack.

"Fools! What doth ye know of beauty sleep?"

“Fools! What doth ye know of beauty sleep?”

Kili is ready to let bygones be bygones and love Tauriel. This should not be happening! Tauriel should take after Legolas (also not in the book) and hate the dwarves, and Kili should join his kinsmen in their hatred for the elves!

I am always one to tell people to think outside the box, but this is a case when groupthink works!

2. Repeated Scenes from LOTR- Lame!

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“Alfrid! Prepare my Bat nipples.”

I couldn’t help but notice that several scenes in the film looked familiar. I knew I had seen them somewhere before, but I couldn’t remember where. Then it hit me; I had seen these scenes in the LOTR trilogy. You don’t know me, but you can know (because I am telling you) that I have seen the LOTR trilogy more than your average bear. What scenes are you talking about?

THIS one! Wait...

THIS one! Wait…

The first scene I noticed a repeat performance from Jackson was when Tauriel was tracking the orc crew down after Thranduil has ordered the Mirkwood borders closed. Tauriel is telling Legolas, without saying it, that she wants Kili’s body and must go after him to save him. Maybe not, but they are discussing how hiding behind their walls “while darkness descends upon the land” is no way to live. Tauriel then utters these words, “Are we not part of this world?”

Good line, but it has been used…in The Two Towers. The scene is identical to the conversation Merry is having with Treebeard. Both conversations surround the issue of not assuming that evil will not eventually come to your front door. But like a fart during a first date, it will come.

The second sense of deja vu is during our introduction to the Master of Laketown. The Master of Laketown has a “right hand man” named Alfrid who was taken straight out of Isengard/Rohan. Many of you LOTR fanatics will remember a particularly annoying character named Grima Wormtongue. There are notable differences between the characters, but they both function as the same tool: silver tongue assistants with malicious intent.

"You...you think I'M annoying? Well...well, you SUCK!"

“You…you think I’M annoying? Well…well, you SUCK!”

Alfrid is another character created for the movie that was unnecessary. He is used to incite some paranoia in the Master of Laketown in order to imprison Bard. This was exactly the way Jackson used Wormtongue in The Two Towers when he was in Rohan controlling Theoden. I doubt Alfrid will have a huge role in the final installment of The Hobbit, but it is easy to see that he will be in the Master of Laketown’s ear if he is used again.

The final instance of repeats in the Desolation of Smaug is the healing scene in Bard’s home. Kili was struck with a poisoned arrow earlier in the film and is about to perish. Tauriel comes along with some king’s foil (but that’s a weed) and saves his life. All the while a random, blinding white light is shining behind Tauriel. This is a blatant rip-off of The Fellowship of the Ring!

This scene was not in the book and was added just so Peter Jackson could relive his love affair with bright lights behind hot elvish women.

YES, there are worse things, but STILL...

YES, there are worse things, but STILL…

You might remember Frodo being stabbed with a Morgul blade in The Fellowship of the Ring and Arwen saving his life with elvish magic. Frodo sees Arwen, and awkwardly Elrond, in blinding light. It made sense in the first one and if it didn’t…who cares, they were amazing movies! Again, the love affair is unnecessary and this scene really just nailed the coffin shut on any hope of salvaging this terrible relationship.

Kili’s love song to Tauriel after he heals is one of the dumbest scenes I have seen in a long time. Feel free to go to the concession stand, or take a quick poop during this scene.

3. Unnecessary Changes- Unnecessary! 

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Where is this “Change?” We will kill THAT too.

Everybody knows that the dwarves do not do battle with Smaug at the end of The Hobbit. Smaug flies off to Laketown and gets killed by Bard and that’s the end…

Not really, but I won’t ruin the War of the Five Armies for you, pretty awesome stuff. Jackson felt the need to give the dwarves an opportunity to avenge their home and destroy Smaug in the halls of Erebor.

This is not how it happened! The whole sequence was forced and even included a shot of Thorin floating down a river of melted gold to escape Smaug. Really!

"...I want to know more."

“Hm.”

Peter Jackson is better than this. I can’t help but think that scenes like these were written when the studios decided to turn the franchise into three films. Jackson was sitting at home and got the news and was like “Sure, why not…” and then he wrote this scene. Jackson left out interesting parts of the book to add in crap like this and it hurts as a fan.

4. Use of CGI- Poor!

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Screenshot from Zelda 64.

Lastly, I can’t get behind the use of CGI in this film, especially concerning the orcs. I know CGI was used in the LOTR trilogy, but Jackson still took the time to put real people in real makeup and costume and let them act. I really appreciated that from the LOTR trilogy.

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This kids knows what I’m talking about.

They decided they had enough money to go completely CGI for The Hobbit movies and never looked back. Azog the Defiler, Bolg, and the rest of the orcs were completely CGI with voiceovers done by low-paid actors. This obviously isn’t the worst thing they could have done in these films, but it is something I noticed as I always appreciated how they let main villains in the LOTR trilogy be portrayed by people in costumes. Call me crazy.

In closing, I would like to point out a conversation I had with a dear friend about this film. I was telling him how upset I was and why as I felt these movies could have been spot on with the books. His response? “You were just setting yourself up for disappointment”. Basically, I was not allowed to hope for The Hobbit film I think we all deserved.

"The fuh?"

“The fuh?”

We waited almost a decade for this movie, with an emotional roller coaster ride during that decade with all the talk of directors being dropped, production halting, etc. I think Jackson took a step back with these films, but that is not to say they are bad. It could just be that the LOTR films are so frikkin’ good and it is not fair to compare the films. But I do, because they are part of the same world.

I could make a list of everything good in this film, and I believe the pros would outweigh the cons. Jackson appreciates Tolkien’s story and the characters and I believe he wants best for the franchise. I think he just lost himself during the writing of The Hobbit. I still believe in him and his vision and I would love to see him really bring it home in The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

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4 Responses to “What’s Wrong with The Hobbit”

  1. Ariya Says:

    It’s peter’s adaption…so he won’t follow the book 100%. This is his creative vision, what you might think isn’t brilliant others might find it amazing! What I realised about the Hobbit trilogy is that it’s drawing a younger generation of audience. It’s much brighter in comparison to LOTR. The only thing I agree with, is the ‘Dwarvish/Elvish Love’ I do like Tauriel’s character, but seriously…what was the need? *sigh*
    -_-

  2. Taylor Says:

    “It’s Peter’s adaptation…so he won’t follow the book 100%” The no. 1 reason Peter Jackson and WB, and New Line Cinema agreed to do these films was because they knew that for 77 years, the Hobbit has drawn in audiences from all ages and backgrounds to its incredible story and characters (and not to mention the billions of dollars made by the LOTR trilogy). The production company knew they already had an audience with these films. I saw all that to say this, if the book had not been one of the foundational pieces of fantasy literature, this never would have been made. Something has to be enjoyed by millions of people before a studio will opt for a movie, i.e. Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. If these novels had not garnered so much attention when they were only in a novel form, they never would have made the movies. The Hobbit is not some original screenplay by Peter Jackson. He is drawing from source material that has been around for eight decades. It has endured eight decades of scrutiny from several generations. Anything negative that could have been said about this book, has been spoken! To come out as one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time after that long is impressive. It needed no alterations from PJ or any one else (one reason why the Tolkien family is absolutely disgusted with these films). His “creative visions” is only accessible even to himself because J.R.R. Tolkien allowed it, 77 years ago! This whole “I enjoyed it so this person has to also” attitude from everyone online that gets so butt hurt because people don’t like the Hobbit films is a tired act. I don’t care that you liked it. You are allowed to have your own opinions, but remember that I am as well. In my opinion, the original source material was a masterpiece that could have easily been translated to the screen. What we received was a CGI bore-fest with no heart noticeable in any aspect of this film.

  3. I did not read till the end because…
    1 – Not even LOTR Movie trilogy is near the book it take soooo many freedom from the original book that totally upset me when i saw it the first time. So i do not see why it cant be done in the Hobbit movie too.
    2 – I enjoyed much more the Hobbit than LOTR 😀

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