Maybe desecration is a better word. It’s a strong word to be sure, but reasonable to use in this instance. Let me make a comparison that will make many of you shudder.
This Hobbit movie is to the book as the movie Starship Troopers is to that book.
There, I’ve said it. That’s how I feel and I’ll stand by my statement. Some of you might think this fills me with rage and hatred, but that is not the case. I simply believe we have reached the point where we need to let this be Hollywood and Peter Jackson’s film. It’s not the book, it’s not the same as the story in the book and it misses a couple of important things. Just as the Troopers adaptation would have been much more successful if it had simply called itself “Bug Hunt” and divorced itself from angry fan-boy rants, this movie should have called itself something different also. Maybe, “Come Watch Tons of CGI” or “Pee first, this will be another long one”. Seriously – it’s expecting too much to just have the story as it was written. There was no love story. The action happened “off screen” in the book many times, and when it didn’t it was much longer and more drawn out than an action movie needs to be. There were peaceful people in the book and long periods of rest and recovery. These peaceful, restful times and folks don’t play well with 165 minute films. There needs to be something going on all the time, and that simply wasn’t the case in the book. The movie and the book are apart from one another and will never meet.
Spoilers start here!!
The subtle things were lost in this adaptation, and that’s the part I really don’t like. Gandalf is sneaky in the book. He gets all the dwarfs into Beorn’s house by way of stealth. Then this giant of a man / bear is shown to have a strong compassion for all living things. In the movie, they’re all chased into the house by Beorn in ferocious bear form. There he’s given back story, but with all the subtlety of a dwarven hammer blow.
Speaking of hammers… round peg, square hole. Legolas is NOT IN THE HOBBIT. There are elves, just not that elf. This is where the subtlety is lost – and where the changes become too much to bear. The love story is a blatant attempt to draw a female audience. Honestly – that’s Hollywood BS. I know loads of women who have a far better / deeper knowledge of this story – and who would line up (and dress up, thank you very much) to see this film – with or without this love story. I hope this is the Hollywood influence is to blame for this. If it’s Jackson and the writing team I will be sorely disappointed. I want to like what Jackson does – and almost always have – but he’s venturing dangerously close to the land of Lucas on this one.
I really like the review here: http://www.salon.com/2013/12/11/the_hobbit_the_desolation_of_smaug_jackson_leaves_tolkien_behind/ I think this reviewer shares my opinion.
So – after all this – should you go see this movie? YES. Here’s why: there are some things you need to see on the big screen. This dragon is one of them. He is wonderful. Go see it for the dragon – he deserves the big screen.