I finished reading The Hobbit and I have watched the second movie in the trilogy and now it is time to tell you what I thought. I think part of the issue comes out that the story is really a simple adventure, with a lot of action, but it is never as dire as the movies make it out to be. Therefore when you try and turn the book in to three movies you end up having to change a few things. In the first movie I thought they did a pretty good job sticking to the book, even though they only made it a third of the way through. They added some little things, some big things, but there were only a few moments that I felt were not true to the heart of the book.
Now the problem is that at the beginning you have to start from the same place, but the more you add and change the further away from the book you will get as you move forward. Especially when you add elements that are supposed to stick around for all the movies. In the first movie we start out adding in a group of orcs chasing the dwarves along their quest, because the quest itself was not dangerous enough. Then you also add in Gandalf having suspicions about the dark being on the move and old enemies rising. Once you introduce these, then you have to keep them up, but as in the case of the second movie it means you have to veer further away from the story the book told to focus on the other elements that you have added. Many of the great parts in the book are shortened, Beorn, Spiders, Barrels, to add time for the orcs and Gandalf hunting down the Necromancer.
The other part is that they seemed to want to focus on the epic parts of the story and make them bigger. Someone decided that the scenes with Beorn, the spiders, and others were not interesting enough so we had to either make them shorter or add elements to make them bigger. Then with Smaug they got such a good actor, they decided to make it a much bigger scene. The problem is that the book really does a good job of telling the story that needs to be told and not adding superfluous elements. (Spoilers for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug after the jump) Continue reading