The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug | Teen Ink

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

December 18, 2013
By GreyGirl ELITE, Pohang,Kyungbuk, Other
GreyGirl ELITE, Pohang,Kyungbuk, Other
170 articles 122 photos 391 comments

I came into the movie theater to see “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” like a Hobbit who is anticipating second breakfast. My first figurative breakfast had been baked in the oven of my love for J.R.R. Tolkein’s masterful prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” series and seasoned with my childhood enamorment with Peter Jackson’s amazing adaption of that series to the big screen. True, I had a bit of a bad taste in my mouth from the first installment of “The Hobbit” titled “An Unexpected Journey,” which left a lot lacking, but like any good Hobbit, I was sure that the second time would be better then the first. However, upon leaving the theater, not only had my figurative breakfast left me sick to my stomach but angry as well.
If you go to see “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and expect a movie that will at all honor the book upon which it is based, you will be disappointed. If you go to see the film and the expect mature themes, and subtle humor which Tolkien is remembered for, you will not get what you came for. Instead, buy your tickets expecting an adaption which is 99% a Peter Jackson fanfiction at best, with base humor, shoddy special effects, and no adherence to the plot of the book by J.R.R. Tolkein.

The film almost painfully follows the basic outline of the book as the twelve dwarfs and the hobbit Bilbo set out on the second leg of their adventure to reclaim the dwarves’ homes and gold which have been stolen by the evil dragon Smaug. However, Peter Jackson has chosen to take many deviations from the plot, adding new characters which do little to add to the story. Many new scenes and characters have been added as references to the Lord of the Rings series, which are not in the original “Hobbit” book and make the pacing feel strained.

Because of these additions to the plot, many of the original storylines become rushed and the characters diluted. Thorin Oakenshield, for example, is turned into a stereotypical selfish leader who is far crueler than he was in the books. Similarly, scenes such as the fight with the spiders in Murkwood seem eerily short while others such as the famed barrel escape are so enhanced by Peter Jackson (Orc vs. Elf vs. dwarves and hobbit in barrels anyone?) that they lose their original charm. The main character, Bilbo, barely even gets any screen time and Gandalf is pushed to the side like some senile wizard that no one wants anymore.

Overall, “The Desolation of Smaug” is hardly one of Peter Jackson’s triumphs. While his massive funding allowed for the creation of amazing effects such as the dragon Smaug, a lack of skill for basic story telling and pacing leaves viewers scratching their heads and rubbing their eyes from the high frame rate. When Bilbo tells Gandalf that he found his courage in the goblin mines, Gandalf replies “Good. You will need it!” So too, will any Tolkein lover need their courage to face the strange version of a classic story which Peter Jackson has chosen to inject his own ideas of storytelling into. In truth, this movie would be better titled “The Desolation of Peter Jackson” than that of Smaug.


The author's comments:
I was so excited for this film and so disappointed.

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This article has 4 comments.


GreyGirl ELITE said...
on Dec. 31 2013 at 12:44 am
GreyGirl ELITE, Pohang,Kyungbuk, Other
170 articles 122 photos 391 comments
Glad you enjoyed the movie. I definitely agree that for pure entertainment it is rather fun. I guess I am just very attached to the original book so I veiwed it through a bit of a filter. Overall, you make good points however. :)

Alycia. BRONZE said...
on Dec. 30 2013 at 10:02 pm
Alycia. BRONZE, Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania
4 articles 8 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” -- David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

I actually was delighted and excited after I watch the movie. The final line, spoken by Bilbo in desperation, "What have we done?" still remains in my memory. Although I have not read the book, I enjoyed the obvious changes to the plot, such as the introduction of Tauriel and the relationship between Tauriel and Kili.

on Dec. 29 2013 at 1:50 pm
TargonTheDragon GOLD, Ofallon, Missouri
15 articles 16 photos 292 comments

Favorite Quote:
First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.

Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.

Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.

New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion — godless.

The hobbit part 2- The Desolation of Smaug   When I went into the theatre to see this movie, I was skeptical. I hadn’t been disappointed with the first, but there were parts of the first that were undesirable (lack of certain scenes, or additions of ones I knew did not exist). But for some reason, I wasn’t surprised at these changes. I expected, as I always have with book-to-movie adaptations, that there were going to be changes.   So I naturally went into the theatre with the same expectations. I knew I would be entertained (Peter never lets you down in the action categorie) but I also knew it might be at the cost of the story, and/or parts that were important to the fans.   So without the vain hope of everything being perfect in regards to the story, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall movie. Sure Peter Jackson added in a random female elf for the sole sake of making an awkward love triangle, sure he took from other of Tolkien’s writing to make a side story for Gandalf and connect The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings, sure he kind of disappointedly skipped the importance and accuracy of Beorn’s part, sure he put Legolas in there even though he is not mentioned in the book (but hey, he did exist. Elves are immortal, if I am not mistaken) and sure he left us as a terrible cliffhanger at the end (haha how else is he to get us to watch the last installment of the trilogy?) but overall, he didn’t absolutely butcher the story.   Maybe I am just too forgiving, but if you go into the theatre expecting the worst possible, you will most likely come out pleasantly surprised.     Just a side comment, did anyone besides myself realize there was quite a lot of chopping-off-of-head-gags in this movie?   And Legolas going after the orc Bolg, I bet Legolas will be the one who kills him in the Battle of Five Armies. Just random thoughts.

on Dec. 28 2013 at 11:13 am
TargonTheDragon GOLD, Ofallon, Missouri
15 articles 16 photos 292 comments

Favorite Quote:
First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.

Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.

Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.

New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion — godless.

ill get back to putting up my thoughts soon.