The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is my all-time favorite movie trilogy ever. It was pure bliss watching these movies in the theaters and last year around this time I spoke about the grin on my face as I watched the first of The Hobbit movie trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (review). I absolutely loved it even despite all the rancor.
I can't say I felt exactly the same way this time.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug starts to show some of the bloat we all knew would be in a trilogy of movies surrounding a single book that was shorter than any of the books in the former trilogy that only needed a movie a piece. Even I, who couldn't get enough of the first movie, thought this one was getting a bit ridiculous with every single event getting turned into impossible action scenes. And then there's the, spoiler alert, scene with Gandalf and Sauron that was not only odd but at least twice as long as it needed to be ... which could be said about a few more scenes, especially the final one where the dwarves are chased by Smaug.
Last time, I made the argument that it doesn't make logical sense to expect a movie to actually follow the books when we know going into the movies that it's three movies out of a relatively short book. In all reality, these movies actually do follow the book pretty well ... for what it is. The main events are all there even though it's easy to get lost in the shenanigans. Then, of course, there are things such as the needless love interest, Evangeline Lily, getting added that just didn't need to be there.
It's easy to complain, and very many are taking advantage, but I don't mean to say I hated it, only that I felt the bloat this time. I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed the scenery, and I enjoyed the non-stop action. It's just that I'm finally finding myself questioning the need for three movies when two, though still much, might have been just right.