Overall, the nerd community has been happy with Peter Jackson’s second installment of The Hobbit, and I have to say I agree with them. But, fangirl that I am, I have to rant a tad because there were some really groanworthy moments. Before I tear into what I hated about The Desolation of Smaug, though, let’s start with the “Loved it!” moments. Warning! Spoilers ahead.
Tauriel I was nervous about Jackson’s decision to add Tauriel, a character not in The Hobbit—or any Tolkien book, for that matter. But luckily she enriches the film, adding a much-needed female presence. To summarize: She is a complete badass who kicks major ass. Loved it! (Side note: I always play a female elf ranger in D&D, so obviously it was nice to see a female soldier added to my favorite fantasy world!)
Smaug Everything about Smaug is perfect. He is terrible, scary, sassy, and surprisingly beautiful (as beautiful as a fire-breathing beast can be). From his facial expressions to the coins falling from his belly, every detail is perfect. Bravo!
Gandalf I really enjoyed how Jackson gives us a sneak peek into Gandalf’s other dealings. He might only be Gandalf the Grey at this point, but he is wicked smart and courageous. As in the book, he is always running off to take care of important matters, so it was a pleasant surprise to get to follow his storyline in addition to the main one of Thorin Oakenshield and company. Perfect addition!
But even with the action-packed adventure and the “Hell yes!” moments, quite a few times I raised my hands to the film gods, asking “Why?!”
Tauriel I know I just listed her as a great new asset to the story, but what really irked me was the romance storyline assigned her. Really, Jackson, you thought romance was needed? Really?! Just let her be kick-ass. She doesn’t need to have feelings for Legolas or Kíli. She is a soldier who doesn’t have time to worry about love. Ugh!
Beorn For those who haven’t read the book, Beorn is a really interesting character. As Thorin’s party approached his home, I was looking forward to the meeting. Then I saw him. I always pictured Beorn as a great beast of a man, not tall and lanky, as he is depicted in the film. Why is he so skinny?! He is supposed to have the size and strength of a bear, for heaven’s sake! In addition, the film doesn’t expand on his gentle nature and friendships with animals. Overall, I was disappointed that The Hobbit doesn’t detail more of their visit (especially considering its length). Fail.
Gold Lava At one point, Thorin surfs a canal of molten gold. In a wheelbarrow. Hands grasping the sides. Yeah . . . hated it.
But, again, even with the groans and eye-rolling, I am excited about this addition to Tolkien’s world. And although I welcome a female hero and the added plot lines, I hope that the final installment of the trilogy is more action-packed—Battle of Five Armies! Bring it on!—but, please, no more romance.