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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dumbing down Tolkien in the second Hobbit movie

by Jamie Lutton

I went to see the second Hobbit movie the other day. Well, it is official; Peter Jackson has lost his mind.

This film was really bad. It is not so much adding characters; he has characters acting like no character Tolkien ever wrote would act.

J. R. R. Tolkien must be spinning in his grave right now.

Where do I start? This review has spoilers in it, so you are warned.

Beorn, the man who was also a bear, a 'shape shifter' as this movie is called, had his part cut so much that he barely recognizable from the book. His character is truncated. When the hobbits encounter the spiders in the forest of Mirkwood, Bilbo takes his ring off to fight them part of the time; which was not in the book, Also an insane decision in general. He can understand their speech while he has the ring on; when he takes the ring off he can still understand their speech.

Then there is this fighting female elf and (!!) Legolas, who is not in the first book at all, show up to fight the spiders and save the dwarves and Bilbo. This is completely made up. We do not meet Legolas until The Lord of the Rings, which takes place 80 years later.. So this is totally wacky. And the female elf is so out of place in Middle Earth . She gets gooey about one of the dwarves, the name of which escapes me, who appears to be the head Dwarve Thorin Oakensheild's son and heir, and this more than anything is out of line.

Tolkien created different species of to inhabit Middle Earth, they are not supposed to cross. they are not supposed to be like humans with different skin colors, they are as different as cats and dogs. They are so different from each other that this is not possible. But a romance is hinted here between the Dwarf and this female fighting Elf.

Hokay, this is fine in dirty Tolkien fan fiction, maybe, the wacky stuff that is circulated on fan sites, but not in the filming of The Hobbit.. This is HERESY.

And the finding of the door into the dwarf city. Well, that scene is ruined. It is so distorted, it only faintly resembles the book

And that dragon. Sorry, he is too talkative. He is something out of Sesame Street, or the Muppet show. Not a dread creature. And while Bilbo has the ring on, the dragon names the ring. This is not in the book, and if this dragon is so smart, why did Gandalf not know about the ring's origin for decades? He knew Bilbo has a magic ring. Not in the book, not in the book, and etc. So Bilbo takes the ring off, in front of the Dragon, as if the dragon would forget about the ring.

There is a sequence where the dwarves try to kill the dragon. Sort of clever, lots of CGI, but it does not work. It serves just to have the dwarves look like they have some derring do, running about like lunatics in the ruined Dwarf city.

So, the dragon, (this part is in the book) goes off to destroy the human city Dale.

This film is far, far more crappy than Peter Jackson's first Lord of the Rings films. I will even say that one decision that Peter Jackson made -to make Sam less servile in those three films - works very well. It is an improvement on the books. Really. But this.this.this is a piece of garbage.

Worse than the first Hobbit film, where the 12 dwarves have great makeup, and are distinctive and interesting, and the scene where they meet Bilbo is very well done.

I left out some other horrible changes...they are legion...but if you watch this movie, and have not read the book. Go get a copy of the book, which is much better, and sit down and enjoy a good read, that has stood the test of time.

Peter Jackson did not need the money...why did he screw up such a great book? He has violated the trust of millions of fans.

My business partner was also outraged. He wrote a separate review on our blog where he called this cock-up BILBO AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

Wish I had ntought of that title....that about sums it up.

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