The Hobbit: The Desolation of a Series

I realize The Hobbit film series is a few years old now, but that doesn’t stop me from being incredibly disappointed.

I am sitting here watching TV on this rainy, cold, Tuesday afternoon, and as I scrolled through dozens of useless channels, I stumbled across The Desolation of Smaug. Against my better judgment, I turned it and watched 2 minutes before the inevitable reality set it once again: F*** this movie.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is my favorite series of films and The Hobbit movies are a disgrace comparatively. Even on their own, The Hobbit movies are just poorly executed. They almost make the Star Wars prequels look like competent films, in fact, I’d rather watch the Star Wars prequels any day over The Hobbit (AJ is going to shit when he reads this because he knows how I feel about the Star Wars prequels, so that is a major compliment).

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So why do I hate The Hobbit series so much?

Where do I start? Somewhere around 2012 when An Unexpected Journey was released and the fanboy within me was bubbling with excitement. I had watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Editions, of course) too many times, so it was about time Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth. Or so I thought.

What we ended up receiving was a dumbed-down, over-the-top, Harry Potter looking, goofy, chock full of filler, Hollywood pile of bullshit. I don’t fully blame Peter Jackson, I don’t believe it was his intention to pump these films out, let alone four of them. It seems as if a few dollars were out there to be made, and Jackson was put on the spot to grab them. Even listening to the behind the scenes of The Hobbit, Jackson seemed uninterested and somewhat empty, as if he knew he wasn’t doing Tolkien’s work justice.

Anyhow, that still doesn’t really answer WHY I hate these movies so much. I think the best way to answer that, is to explain what made The Lord of the Rings so great.

The Lord of the Rings, despite being a fantasy epic, felt grounded. The characters didn’t feel as if they were out of a fairy tale. You really felt attached to the characters in such a dark world during their struggles. It was that grounded nature that made The Lord of the Rings so great, and we didn’t get that in The Hobbit.

We didn’t have the irrational villain in LOTR like we did in The Hobbit. The Mayor of Laketown had no motives to be such a dick other than to be just a dick. The Mayor is just an irrational, dumb, useless bad guy. Classic.

Aside from that, I could have given two shits about most of the dwarves. Sure, they had their moments, but I never really cared. I definitely didn’t care enough for that Dwaft-Elf love story they shoe-horned in there either. Seriously, who really needed that? Then to go ahead and add Legolas in there for a familiar face and addition to that love triangle is just unneeded.

Seriously, did Legolas even have to be in these movies? Don’t get me wrong, I loved him in LOTR, but he didn’t even seem like the same character in The Hobbit. When we were introduced to him in LOTR, he was a quiet, angelic like character as compared to his Hobbit counterpart who is just a cold-blooded, angry elf. Sure, he is “younger” in The Hobbit but I felt no attachment to him.

Enough about Legolas and let’s touch on what really bothers me: the over-the-top action. I’m watching the scene where the protagonists are taking a nice little barrel ride down the river and well, I want to die. Just like I wanted to die when they were flipping plates around Bag End, or Radaghast’s jackrabbit sleigh, the damn parade through the Goblins in the Misty Mountains, or even whatever the hell was going on in that one extended scene in the final movie with the chariot. I get it, The Hobbit is supposed to have a more light-hearted tone than LOTR but this stuff was just DUMB. It felt more like Harry Potter than The Lord of the Rings when looking back at Jackson’s original trilogy (not saying I dislike Harry Potter, but I’m using it as an example).

Throw into the mix some cheesy special effects and obvious editing issues (i.e. Kili falling off a tower forward and landing on his back during his big death scene), and you have a series of movies that just drive me crazy. There are some parts I enjoy, but overall I’m just left disappointed each time I try watching these films.

I guess I’ll just resort back to The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions again, they never let me down. I suppose this is as good a time as any to change the channel and to end this rant.

I digress.

-Dallan

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