My Review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Submitted by Aredhel Írissë on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 03:14

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review


Today, Laura, William, Emma, Sarah, and I watched the second Hobbit movie. My thoughts of this movie are not in the order that the movie went, just so you’ll know. I wrote them down as I thought of them.

I HATED Radagast. Sorry, folks, but I really did. When Saurumon said 'Radagst the brown, Radagast the fool!' It couldn't have been said better. And I don’t know why, but Radagasts silly little rabbit team that pulled his ‘wagon’ thing irked me, too.

Now, to go onto Bilbo. He was a good actor, I'll admit. But, he was very stupid. He goes into the dragons cave. He waits seriously, RIGHT before Smaug sees him to put his ring on! So, while I waited (impatiently, needless to say) I chanted to myself ‘you’ve got a ring, buster, you’ve got a ring!’ So, finally he puts it on, just before Smuag sees him. Then, he’s hardly had it on for two minutes, and he takes the ring off! So, now Smaug can see him. Dumb. Dumb. DUMB. And he doesn’t steal a cup like he’s supposed to (or anything, for that matter.)

And on his way out, who do you think he meets? Thorin! Thorin’s not supposed to go in the cave!!!! I mean, what is this?!?! I thought it was Tolkiens book 'the Hobbit' that Peter Jackson was making into a movie, not a movie that Jackson made with a hobbit...and a dragon. Thorin's never supposed to even so much as see the dragon, but he does!!! And then along come all the other dwarfs, who aren’t supposed to see it, either.

Oh, and that reminds me. Killi gets shot in his leg by an orcs arrow which has poison in it. Did that happen in the book? No! And so he has to stay back while all the other dwarves go to the mountain. Did I say all the others? Pardon me, I meant all the others except three of the others not including Killi, who decide to stay with Killi. Did that make any sense to you? Probably not. Three other dwarves stayed with Killi while the others go to Smaugs cave.

Okay, back to the dwarves with the dragon. So the dragon chases them around for a long time, and his fire (the very little that he breathes) does them, well, no harm at all! Pretty pathetic when he a fire-breathing dragon can't even hurt one of little tiny dwarf out nine, or even Bilbo.

So, they finally get out, and Smaug deciders to vent his rage on some town (I don’t remember the name; I think it was Laketown.)

Then there was this seriously dorky she-elf, Tauriel, who is NOT supposed to be there. She, unfortunately, seemed to be rather fond of Killi (okay…..) while Legolas (who wasn’t supposed to be in there, ether, but was in it quite a bit nonetheless) was in love with Tauriel. Dumb. And I could not STAND Tauriel. She goes around with her bow, killling orcs like the dork that she is. And that, may I say, is a very, very nice understatement. She. Was. A. Dweeb.

Then Legolas gets in a big fight with some orcs. One leaves him with blood running from his nose. If you've seen him after a fight before, his face is as shiny clean as it was before (which is very, very, clean) his hair's is perfectly straight and smooth, and his face never has blood on it. No dirt. No scratch. No NOTHING.
But--BUT when this orc leaves blood on Legolas' nose, he seriously wipes it off with his finger, and looks at with a look of total shock and disbelief. He was probably thinking, 'I'm gonna kill that orc who ruined my perty face!' I do believe that he was very angry that the orc (of all creatures that could have done it to him) would dare to leave so much as a scratch on his perfect, beautiful, flawless, clean, wonderful, lovely, elf face, much less make it bleed! And so then he jumps on a horse and rides after that fowl orc who dared to touch his 'perty' face.
And, sense neither Legolas nor Tauriel were supposed to be in the hobbit (not that Tauriel was in LOTR) then I think that I have come to the conclusion that Legolas was in it to attract Legolas fan girls, and Tauriel to attract boys.

Oh, and before Smaug goes out to destroy Laketown, the orcs attack it too, which they were not supposed to, and who comes on the scene to save the day?
Tauriel the epic. *clears throat'. Pardon me--again. The completely un-epic, totally annoying, stupid and dumb Tauriel!

Then when Gandalf and the Dwarves and Bilbo go to see Beorn, the guy who changes into a bear, they get chased by orcs. Wait, what? something seems wrong here…*scratches head* that’s not how it happened in the book. Oh, and also they get chased by Beor himself, in the form of a bear, and they get into his house and locks him out. In the book, Gandalf introduces them by twos to Beorn (while he is in his human form.) in hopes that it won't seem like so many people, rather than seeing them all at once, and it looking like a handful. It’s rather funny how Tolkien did it in the book. They RUINED it in the movie. It could have made the movie You’d have to read it, because I can’t find the book to write it down for you. Sorry. Better luck next time! ;)

And the dwarves don’t even get captured by the elves for spoiling their parties. They got captured by them because…well, I don’t rightly know. Bilbo saves the dwarves from the spiders webs of which he was wrapped from top to bottom yet somehow or another (???) he frees himself; he was merely supposed to be sleeping, along with the dwarves when he wakes up only to find himself being wrapped up by a gigantic spider, and the dwarves already wrapped up themselves; it had gotten up to about his knees by the time he woke up. In the movie he was completely wrapped up. So then he some how or another gets to his sword...while all wrapped up in sticky spider web (???) and then he kills the spider. And in the book, he puts his ring on so that the other spiders can't see him and taunts the spiders by calling them names they hate to be called. (Ugh. They didn’t do that in the movie, either.) In the movie, neither he, nor the dwarves were sleeping. He was climbing a tree to try to see the end of the forest, when he fell out of the tree and gets wrapped up by a spider.

Oh, and in the movie, while Bilbo is at the top of the tree, he could see to the end of the forest. He was NOT supposed to be able to see to the end of. But he did.

Anyway, back to the spiders. And the after the dwarves kill most of the spiders, along come Legolas and Tauriel and some other elves, and they kill the remaining spiders and for some reason take the dwarves prisoners.

Yes, they actually stayed right to the book on the part that Bilbo put on his ring…and, well, got left behind like he was supposed to!

When they escape from the elves in the barrels, their heads are sticking out, i.e, there are no lids on the barrels like there's supposed to be, and they’re fighting orcs (???) and so are the elves (???) who weren’t even supposed to know the dwarves were escaping in the barrels, but they did! (???)

And then Bard, who lets the dwarves stay with him after escaping the elves has three children, which he’s not supposed to have. But that's really not the worst thing, I reckon.

For right now, that’s all I can think of. You probably think that after all of this negativity from me, I detested the movie. You’re right, and all at the same time, you are wrong. Let me explain:
I hated it when I compare it to the book. As Laura pointed out, they rushed through the actual parts that happened in the book. They added way too much, and took away way too much. That annoys me. They barely stayed to Tolkiens book at all.

But I found it quite fun and exciting when I did not think of it as J.R.R. Tolkiens the Hobbit, but Peter Jacksons the Hobbit. Sarah heard someone in the theater say ‘that wasn’t Tolkiens book, that was Peter Jacksons movie.’ I agree.

Christopher Tolkien, J Tolkiens son, didn’t like The Lord of the Rings movie—how much more would he dislike The Hobbit movie!

All I can do to this movie they call ’the Hobbit’ which they also say is based on J.R.R. Tolkiens book, is shake my head and click my tongue and lament for poor Jackson and his FAILURE to make the hobbit, a wonderful, epic, exciting book, into a movie. Or, as Emma said ‘instead of saying three cheers, then just do three face palms’ so we all did three face palms.

Laura and William and Emma and Sarah all HATED it, whether comparing it to the book or not. They certainly didn’t recommend it to pa and ma when they asked if they would like it….;)

Oh, and did I mention that Tolkien wrote this as a childrens book? Although I liked the fighting scenes, they're not exactly fit for little children. Peter Jackson changed what was supposed to be a childrens book into a rather semi-violent (you might say) movie. My parents didn't even think that my nine (nearly ten) year old brother could go because it was too...well, violent, I suppose.

I do want to watch the next one, (the last) to be honest, that will be coming out. And I’d wouldn’t mind re-watching the other two. But it is, I tell you, way, way, way too far away from J.R.R Tolkiens ‘The Hobbit’. And they are making the Hobbit, as long or longer than LOTR. Tolkien made LOTR into three books, but he didn't make the hobbit into three books, and yet Jackson is breaking the Hobbit into three parts, each about three hours long.

Are you insulted by what I've said? Offended? Well get a load of this: I'm offended, insulted, and mad at PJ.

Watch the Hobbit movies and read the book. You will notice the vast difference between the two...

Author's age when written


Hey uh, Hannah. Yeah, I know how it is to REALLY like a book and when the movie comes out WAM! its stinks. But then you have to remember that when Peter Jackson went to Tolkien's kids and asked to have the rights to the movie, they had to give up ALOT of stuff. So, if you want to be mad at someone, be mad at Tolkien for not teaches his kids to give away his stuff. ;)

But seriously though, I know how you feel. :) When I saw "the Hunger Games" movie, was pretty upset, so don't worry.

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

But why do so many Christians want to watch Hunger Games, and even promote killing people relentlessly when that's 100 percent opposite of what Christ has commanded us to do?

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Hunger Games is excellent. A lot of people have misinterpreted the book--It doesn't promote killing people. It is a display of the brutality of a dystopian future. It doesn't glorify it or portray it as a positive thing. It's about how they overcome this awful, brutal government. The books have all sorts of interesting references to the ancient Romans and gladiators that shows how she tried to sort of regress the American government to become Panem. It's worth reading, even if you don't like it. It's actually really interesting and intelligently written. Because of the movie and teeny boppers, it's been glorified into another "Twilight". Sorry, I just had to clear that up since it's one of my favorite books :)

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Oh, definitely not for little kids!! Not really for kids in general, although that didn't stop them from seeing the movie. It's also not for people who are super turned off by violence. It doesn't dwell on gore, but because of the storyline there's a lot of it.

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Maddi: No, I wasn't scared :P I'm just not like that. Can't scare me with something fake. But you can make me sad at times, like when Boromir and Theoden died, and Frodo went off to the undying lands. I nearly cried at those parts :( But yes, the Hobbit was written for little children. The Lord of the Rings was not.

Joziah: I hated Tauriel and I hope she dies in There and Back Again. Sorry!

@ Hannah: That's good :) Yes, that bit was sad.
@ Joziah: I agree, she's pretty awesome! But I wonder what will happen in the third movie, since she's not in the book. Maybe she will have to die *Noooooo*

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Not everything that's not Christian is evil. Th bible and other books that many Christians have read do have some violence but in that case then I guess I shouldn't read "Johnny Tremain" or "the Bronze Bow" since it has violence. And, May I state that YOU have read those same books also. Am I saying you're not a Christian? No. But you have to understand that if you're going after one thing, you need to look at EVERYTHING you read.

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

Maybe if you read the books, I could let this go, but since it seems that you haven't then I have to say one thing: first read the books, then critique.

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

While I had some large problems with the film at first, I sat and thought about it and narrowed my list down to two problems:

Tauriel's romance, especially healing Kili.
The extended fight sequence within the mountain.

Many of the other changes can be attributed to the medium of film. I think I'll post my own review in time, but this post… makes a few comments that might be relevant, especially for adaptations.

Formerly Kestrel

First, about Radagast, he is sort of foolish, dumb, and corny. That I agree with. Tauriel, is also What you call, ''Dorky''. But it seems perfectly realistic
that Legolas would be in the movie, just not running around with an un-royal female elf, he would probably be in a great hall in Mirkwood. Also There is nothing wrong with Legolas chasing orcs just because they hit his, ''Pretty face". Oh and about the un-epic Tauriel yes that is pretty strange, or dumb, defending all of Laketown from an invasion of orcs! One of the weirdest things was when Tauriel and Killi...You get me!(:

Yes, I agree! I wouldn't have cared if he was just in it with his dad, seeing as how he was the kings son, but he was never mentioned in the book, and...well, I think he was just in it too much, fighting orcs and the like ;) I was disappointed with Jackson. He failed :(

Alright, here are my sane thoughts. Jackson might have made a few mistakes in this movie, but I really do think that it is better then the book. I did read the book before the movie, and it was good, but i didn't think it would be as boring as i found it. So i was really glad when he put a little excitement into the film. I also do think you could have written this essay without so exclamation marks and question marks. When someone reads it, they're first conclusion would be that you hate the movie. And considering this is a review, you forgot to mention there was a little bit of inappropriate verbal flirting between Kili (sorry, but i couldn't help noticed you spelled his name with two L's. Just to let you know, it is one. :P) and Tauriel. And it was a little weird how they liked each other. I'm not quite sure what i think about that. And I still don't agree with you that Radagast is Dorky. They didn't mention much about him at all in the book (LOTR), which gave Jackson lots of room for imagination. So I think how Jackson portrayed him was creative, and I fell in love with his character. But that is just me. I also really like the strong, and yet extremely sweet bond between Fili and Kili. It is always sweet to see brotherly love. And about Bilbo, I still don't agree with you that he is completely stupid, but he might be a little foolish. Just a little. But then again, who isn't? :P Also, I still think it is fine how they added Legolas, and I don't agree with you and David that he should have just stayed in the hall. What you have to keep in mind, is that this is Jackson's 'The Hobbit', not Tolkien's. And I do appreciate Peter Jackson's work, and Admire him greatly. The whole pale orc thing was a little odd, but it will be more epic when Thorin doesn't just die of a wound, but of a wound from the pale orc. Also, i do think if anyone is a foolish, it is Thorin, but that is the first movie, so................... Anyways, I think that is all I have to say. Thanks

"Even if the sun crashes into earth, I won't let go, I won't let go. I can be your light, stay with me tonight, I won't let go, I won't let go."

Well, personally, I did hate the movie ;) And I couldn't remember how Kili was spelled, so...thanks :) And I thought I did put that in about Tauriel and Kili. Guess not. And yes, I agree how Kili and Fili liked each other, but Kili wasn't supposed to get shot by an arrow. ALL of the dwarves were supposed to go to the mountain thingy, not nine.
And it was supposed to be Jackson's movie, based on Tolkien's book, but it really wasn't anything like it, except there was a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, and a dragon named Smaug. But I have no problem if you like it--I just have problem with the movie :P

I think that you are wrong when you say the only thing the same was their names. There is a lot more then that the same. For example, the quest is still to get their treasure back, in fact, it would take me hours to name all the similarities, but only a little bit to name the differences. You can't just say it is soo different.

"Even if the sun crashes into earth, I won't let go, I won't let go. I can be your light, stay with me tonight, I won't let go, I won't let go."

I absolutely agree. I hate every movie based on Tolkien's books that anyone has made.

I'll just put some of my thoughts down:

In your first paragraph, you say, "Today, Laura, William, Emma, Sarah, and I watched the second Hobbit movie." Now, while some people may understand exactly who you're talking about, others probably won't. It would probably be helpful to explain who these people are (siblings, friends, random people off the street, etc.).

Moving on to your second paragraph, you say, "When Saruman said 'Radagast the brown, Radagast the fool!' It couldn't have been said better." You might consider placing a comma after the quotation and decapitalizing the "It" that follows. This would flow more smoothly and make grammatical sense. As an aside, I entirely agree with you. The Radagast of Tolkien's Middle-earth was a recluse, and it made little sense to include him in the book. Considering the fact that (in the books) he was rebelling against his mandate, it made even less sense to portray him as actively seeking to fulfill it. And just a note Susannah, while Tolkien didn't write all that much about Radagast in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, he actually wrote quite a bit about him in (if I am correct) Unfinished Tales in which he describes all of the five Istari in greater detail.

Your next paragraph was fun to read. I could imagine the entire scene and laugh at the stupidity of the character. However, I'm not sure that it really helped the main point of your review since it didn't differ greatly with the book, and also failed to demonstrate any bad movie-making on Jackson's part. Your next paragraph also seemed to have the same weakness.

Your next paragraph did seem to pertain more to the purpose of your essay, but I think you focused too much on the arbitrary randomness of some of the dwarves remaining outside the mountain. Instead, I think it would help your case to point out that this conflict with the orcs represents an over-eagerness to get to the main conflict of the Battle of Five Armies. Now while I haven't yet watched the second movie, I noticed in the first movie that Jackson often included conflict with the orcs solely for the sake of action to the detriment of the real story. It essentially becomes pure excitement with little (if any) story. I think you touch on this idea in this paragraph as well as the next, but it could probably be developed a little more.

Your next paragraph might work better if you combine it with another one, since, by itself, it doesn't really support any of what your trying to prove.

In your following paragraph, you describe Tauriel's presence in the movie (came as rather a shock to me). While I understood why it was such a pathetic element to the movie, I think it's perfectly fine for you to explicitly point out how this adds yet another story line to The Hobbit that Tolkien never intended. Also, I'm not entirely sure of "dweeb" was the word you were looking for.

Your next two paragraphs were hilarious. Your description of the scene made me laugh. However, I'm not sure that they really support you main point (But I really like them, so don't take them out).

The next paragraph was good, supported your point well, and was very probably true. The only thing I would recommend doing to it is extrapolating on it, pointing out how ridiculous it is to include characters that don't support the story-line whatsoever for so minor a reason.

I think that your next paragraph was also quite good, but again could be extended to point out how the constant annoyance of orcs steadily lessens from the impact of the conclusion of the Battle of Five Armies.

Your next paragraph really made me upset with Jackson because of all that was implied in the paragraph, but again, I think you could impact it to your main point a little more.

Your next four paragraphs simply furthered my disappointment with Jackson, but I feel once again that they don't serve to further your main point. For someone like me who has read most of Tolkien's works countless times, you were able to fully convince me that this next movie was awful. But for someone not familiar with either the books or the movies, these paragraphs would make you seem as though you were picking on minor details. Personally, of course, these paragraphs were just nails in the coffin.

In your next paragraph, you say, "they". Who is they?

I really liked the following paragraph (including the use of question marks), but if you ever get around to editing this, you might consider moving that paragraph to the other places where you talk about the intermittent orc battles.

Again, I feel that the next paragraph could seem a little nitpicky since Tolkien never really said that Bard didn't have children.

I think that mostly covers my comments on your essay body. However, if I may be allowed my own say on why Jackson's movie failed, I think that he tried to hard to reconcile the hobbit-like aspects of The Hobbit with Tolkien's greater mythology. Jackson should either have stuck with one or the other. However, because he tried to combine the two, as well as add many of his own ideas, the story became a convoluted mess.

Overall, you have a lot of good ideas. If you ever decide to edit this (or write a review on the next movie) I would recommend coming up with a main point, and making sure that all your paragraphs support it. Other than that, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this.

“D’ye know what Calvary was? What? What? What? It was damnation; and he took it lovingly.”
~John Duncan

I agree with a lot of what you said, Hannah, but this was actually rather difficult to read. If it was a rant, then that's understandable, but you called it a review. I think if you took Benjamin's comments on having a point and then supporting it it would help. There's nothing wrong with pointing out what was wrong with it, but this really just seems like a list of what was wrong, rather than a review.
But I was sorely disappointed with the movie. Smaug was the one redeeming factor, but even with him they did put too much in!