Let me be as blunt yet precise about this as possible: If you are a Tolkien fan, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug sucks.
I am not making an unqualified statement about the cinematic merit of the film. I am simply speaking as a long-time Tolkien fan.
I bristled at The Two Towers when elves showed up at Helm’s Deep; I rolled my eyes when Arwen (not Elrond) told Aragorn to take the Paths of the Dead. I was disgusted at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when they concocted the ongoing feud between Azog and Thorin.
But in The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson takes his artistic liberties to obscene heights, primarily through the wholly-fabricated character of Tauriel.
I came out of the movie Thursday night with one question about Tauriel:
What. the. hell?
First off, there is no female wood elf in Tolkien’s world. Sure, we can assume that, since there are Sindar female elves and Noldor female elves, and since the wood elves procreate, there are female elves, but there is no specific female elf character. At least Azog existed (he killed Thorin’s grandfather, but was shortly thereafter killed himself). At least there were elven warriors that could’ve fought at Helm’s Deep, and at least Arwen existed and loved Aragorn.
But Tauri f’in el?
Give me a break. That is political correctness run wild.
But it gets worse: She’s the captain of the guard and an expert elven warrior. So not only is the character fabricated out of the whole cloth, but the female role she fills is fabricated as well. Women weren’t warriors in the Middle Ages, and they weren’t warriors in Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Sure, there’s Eowyn, but her character highlights why Tauriel is such an outrage. The idea that a female could fight was so outrageous in Tolkien’s world that Eowyn had to sneak into the ranks. She wasn’t captain of the !*&^#%@ing Rohirrim.
Jackson further makes Tauriel fall in love with one of the dwarves, which is so outlandish (a hot elf woman wouldn’t be attracted to a dwarf any more than Megan Fox would be attracted to a pile of excrement) that it almost makes me think that perhaps the whole Tauriel character is meant as a joke.
For those keeping count, that was whole-cloth fabrication number three, and those are just the fabrications surrounding Tauriel.
The character of Tauriel is merely the most glaring example of Peter Jackson’s arrogance. For further analysis of this arrogance, I recommend this piece from The Atlantic.
And oh yeah: The movie itself drags. It’s way too long, and the action scenes with Smaug at the end make little sense.
On a scale of one to ten, I give this movie a 4. If you’re not a Tolkien fan, you might give it a 6. If you like your movies with as much political correctness as possible, prepare for the cinematic ride of your life.
I shant be attending the third installment next year.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
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