Tolkien Didn’t Write the Desolation of Smaug


If Tolkien wrote blockbusters… he did not write the Desolation of Smaug. Struggling to make the movie 2 1/2 hours long, endearing moments, clever resolutions and the plot were all thrown away in lieu of high speed barrel chases and dragon baiting. I spent all night thinking about just why this movie shames every other Tolkien movie so far.

Watching the Desolation of Smaug was like watching reading the Coles notes for a great classic. Yes, the basic information was there, but what was missing was all the substance and nuance that comes from reading the actual text.

Desolation of Smaug Review

All the smart, funny parts, like Bilbo taunting the spiders or the dwarves discomforts riding the barrels were dumped like a and replaced by Hollywood dialogue and cheap action scenes.

We are punched in the face with reminders that yes, there is a LOTR’s movie because in case you haven’t heard, SOMETHING BIG IS COMING.

And we’re force fed an extra hour of footage we didn’t need to see.

I appreciate the fact that they set up Bard’s character. It was necessary. But then we have to listen to his family troubles as he avoids the guards put in jail. Why?

The whole stupid Kili/Tauriel romance subplot. Why? Anyone who has read the Hobbit knows this romance is doomed. I can’t even feel for her. She was just a means of sticking Legolas in the movie appealing to the romance fangirls.

Where LOTR felt like Tolkien who happened to have a few Hollywood twists added in, this feels like Peter Jackson had one of his underlings summarize the book for him and then just started rolling the camera.

Written by
I graduated with a BA in English and minors in Film, Women Studies, and Religion and Culture. I adore fantasy and sci-fi, especially when it comes to the YA section, but that doesn't mean I don't read anything else. When I'm not reading, I'm writing, biking, taking my dog for long walks or watching anime.

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