Twenty days ago I started a near three-week enduring The Lord of the Rings marathon where I slowly but surely watched all three Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In short, I had a blast. But that led me to want to watch The Hobbit just to remind myself why The Hobbit Trilogy wasn’t as good as The Lord of the Rings films. Of course, I wasn’t going to torture myself and watch all three Hobbit movies. Instead, I went straight to the best installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and it was a blaring realization why these movies weren’t nearly as good.
First off, how come we have much better technology nowadays than Hollywood had in the early 2000s’ and yet the CGI looks way worse? Like George Lucas, Peter Jackson got a tad bit lazy and didn’t want to work as hard on the practical effects, electing to rely heavily on CGI. While that is perfectly fine it can be disastrous if the CGI isn’t good–and The Hobbit Trilogy‘s CGI is mediocre–it leaves the film looking terribly artificial.
Two, the forced romance. In The Lord of the Rings, there was the love story between human king-to-be, Aragorn, and the elven princess-of-sorts, Arwen as well as Eowyn’s serious crush on Aragorn that amounted to nothing but the romantic thing between elven warrior, Tauriel, and Kili simply pales in comparison.
Yeah, Kili may somehow look prettier than most of the elves but why did Peter Jackson have to force romance into a story that had no romance incorporated whatsoever? Because The Hobbit is an adventure that has these dwarves constantly on the move trying to establish a palpable love between the dwarf and elf feels ludicrous.
Now, if Peter Jackson wanted a love story that badly, he should’ve stuck with the idea of Legolas’s relationship with Tauriel. You see, their friendship was already established leaving a path towards romance way more convincible. Wouldn’t it have been so much better if Tauriel would’ve (sorry Tauriel) died in the Battle of the Five Armies and in that happening Legolas, who would’ve lost the woman he loved, would’ve left the Woodland Elves behind to forge his own destiny? That sounds like a great storyline that would’ve added an extra layer of depth to his already fascinating character. Not this long-distance fling between this pretty dwarf and a lonely female elven Captain of the Guard.
Come on Peter Jackson, you’re better than that.
Three, one of the reasons why The Lord of the Rings movies were so good was because the characters were so engaging but I cannot say the same thing The Hobbit. The dwarves, first of all, don’t feel as dwarfish as Gimli which may seem strange but Gimli was undoubtedly the perfect dwarf. Two, while I like Bard and Legolas and Tauriel and of course Bilbo they alone cannot elevate the movies in the way every single Lord of the Rings character did.
Four, Peter Jackson was working way too hard to remind us that Sauron was stirring the pot in taking over the world. Yeah, we get it, Sauron was ready to return and bring Middle-Earth into Sauron’s domain but geez, from having the Great Eye painted with blood on an elven statue to Gandalf actually confronting the dark lord face to face it was a bit much. Even having Frodo at the beginning of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’s as if Peter Jackson was trying to hammer home that these movies were, indeed, connected to The Lord of the Rings movies.
And five, at the end of the day, The Hobbit was never better than The Lord of the Rings so honestly, what do you expect. The Hobbit was just a precursor to an epic story that, brought to the big screen, is still unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The Hobbit could’ve easily been better but he did a pretty good job with what he had to adapt to a movie.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a splendid day.
3 thoughts on “The Reasons Why ‘The Hobbit’ Isn’t As Good as ‘The Lord of the Rings’”
It was an ok movie. You are dead on with the CGI, Legolas jumping around on the river chase. Almost like the CGI was outsourced to the low bid. Definitely missed the mark, could have been better certainly, but probably never could have lived up to the LoTR movies. They were just Epic on a scale we had never experienced. Well, maybe for you younger folks. I once had the opportunity to watch Ben Hur on the big screen.
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Mystery solved! Sauron wasn’t really the Necromancer, it’s ME! Because I’m raising this old post from the dead after following a link from your extended edition one! 😜
I’ve sort of written my own version of this, but I think the biggest reason is that the Hobbit movies weren’t really about the actual hobbit. In the book, he’s bordering on being the actual hero who manages to find the Ring, rescue the dwarves from both the spiders and the wood elves, survives taunting Smaug while wearing the Ring, and discovers the critical weakness that leads to his death. Whereas in the movies… he has a few moments, but he’s mostly a spectator in the dwarves’ and Gandalf’s story there. Let’s be real… the dwarves in the book aren’t as heroic as Gimli, and frequently look like fools. Jackson wanted them to be more of warriors than beggars.
The other part is that the Dol Guldur/Sauron plot, while definitely relevant to this era, was overwrought. In the appendices of the books, it’s clearly a low end fortress. In fact, Thorin’s father died in those dungeons, and it was from him that Sauron recovered the last of the Seven Rings he once gave to the dwarves. In the movies, it doesn’t even look like that place could’ve had a coherent dungeon at all, it was more of a haunted ruin than fortress of evil. While Gandalf DID go there and determine that it was indeed Sauron behind it all, and the Wise did put their strength forward and drive him out? And part of Gandalf’s motivation for wanting Smaug destroyed was out of fear that Sauron might eventually use him against the free peoples? The way this was all handled in the movies was all wrong.
So… yeah, in a way Bilbo comes off as a pawn and a straggling spectator in the larger picture of Gandalf wanting to get rid of Smaug and deal with Sauron, and it’s all just too ham handed.
Maybe I’ll watch these again some day and see if I like them any better… but I doubt it.
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