This film series has been highly criticized for taking a single, rather short book and turning it into three films that rival the length of the original Lord of the Rings film series. However I find this to be an exciting advancement in book to film adaptation. One of the most common criticisms from fans of books is that the movie didn’t cover everything. Even with The Lord of the Rings incredibly long run time of 9 hours and 18 minutes they were accused of the same problem.
A screenwriter’s struggle to bring the pages of a book to life finds its root in the vast differences in the mediums of novel and film. Many of the common occurrences in The Hobbit book may be acceptable in novel form but simply would not satisfy even the casual moviegoer. (!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!) One such element is the frequent disappearances of Gandalf the Gray. This aspect may be acceptable in the novel and even adds an air of mystery to the character. But with film it is almost entirely unacceptable to have such an important character disappear and reappear without explanation. Adding the subplot of the Necromancer, which is part of Tolkien’s original story but told at a different time, only makes sense from a film standpoint. (END SPOILER ALERT)
What Peter Jackson has done by turning The Hobbit into three films is allowed himself all the time he needs to tell a more complete story. From beginning to end I found this film to be exhilarating. It outshined the first Hobbit in technical skill, action, and storytelling. Its unique visuals and effects set it apart from The Lord of the Rings series and show us a more real world with complex interactions between the races of men, elves, dwarves, and orcs.
Overall The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a must see for all fans of fantasy, action, and special effects.