Yes, this was the big weekend for part two of three of the Hobbit, as told by Peter Jackson. And yes, I think that whenever anyone talks about this film trilogy, they should be required to say that it is Jackson’s version. I enjoyed the first film, as well as this one, but, much like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, this isn’t the real deal. This is a fan fiction that is super fun, but totally and completely misses out on actually telling the real story at times.
Let’s be clear, it was a good film. Benedict Cumberbatch was incredible as Smaug, Martin Freeman once again shines as Bilbo, and Luke Evans is a perfect Bard. The Mirkwood battle with the spiders is done well, and Beorn is truly menacing. But as good as the film was, it would have been so much better if Peter Jackson and company had not taken so many creative liberties. Here are a few of them.
1) Elf falls for Dwarf.
Are you kidding? Elves hate dwarves and vice versa. Actually this is shown quite well in the film as Legolas despises all the unbidden guests. And yet, inexplicably, an elf falls in love with one of the dwarves she has just captured. This is all supposedly to further the plot, but there are easier ways of doing that, and ways that make more sense.
2) Well, I guess let’s go home.
So remember in the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Gollum turns Frodo against Sam after framing him? Remember how Sam starts walking back to the Shire? Did anybody stop and consider that there’s no way in heck he’s getting back alive? Or that this is the same hobbit that nearly drowned following Frodo so he would never, ever, leave Frodo alone, even if it meant following him from a distance? So there’s no way character-wise he’s leaving Frodo and there’s no way logically that he would consider walking all the way back to the Shire without food or drink. Jackson pulls the same crap here. Thorin and Company arrive at the secret door into the mountain, and give up after not being able to find the keyhole within 10 minutes. Are you freaking kidding me? They survive trolls, orcs, goblins, spiders, elves, fire, and men, get all the way to the mountain and just give up? No way!
3) Everything is connected.
When this whole thing started out, I was excited that Jackson was filling in the blanks and tying in the Necromancer into the return of Sauron. But come on, not every bad guy in Middle Earth is in on this secret. In LOTR, books and film, it’s clear that Shelob is not a minion of Sauron, and that Sauron has no power over her. Why does Smaug have to be connected to Sauron? Jackson never says outright that they are in league, and they probably aren’t pals, but there’s no reason for Sauron’s eye to show up in Smaug’s. None.
4) No dwarf left behind.
Why does Jackson feel the need to leave a few dwarves in Laketown? What’s wrong with keeping them all together, like the book?
Ok, that’s enough ranting. Here’s the deal. This is a good movie, and I enjoyed it, but simply put, it isn’t really the Hobbit tale, because, once again, Peter Jackson has deemed himself more worthy to tell the story than Tolkien. He and Brian Singer have become the epitome of being “bigger than the story” in Hollywood, and the X-Men and Middle Earth will suffer for it, which is too bad, because there is such potential there.