I haven’t seen the third installment of The Hobbit trilogy yet, but it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that I really hated the first two movies (but I AM still going to go see the third because I hate myself and I just can’t not see it, even though I’m one-hundred percent prepared to be equally disappointed). Basically, The Hobbit is one of my favorite classics, and watching it get absolutely butchered hurts my soul a little bit.
I also tend to think movies based off books are, generally, not very good, and even most of the ones that are good are still “not as good as the book.” You hear that phrase a lot, especially when you’re talking to people who like to read a lot. We tend to like the book better.
Anyway, the main reason most movies based off of books aren’t really great is simple: there just isn’t enough time to really capture what’s going on in the books to make an accurate movie that gets all our favorite elements in while still being interesting in a two-hour production. Basically, we readers are bitter that some of the cooler elements of a book have to be cut out in order to make it fit in the allotted time space for a theatrical production. We want all the nonessential elements, damnit! They’re what made the book so much fun!
A lot of books-turned-movie tried to alleviate this problem (while picking up some extra cash in the box offices while they were at it) by splitting books into two movies instead of keeping them confined to one. We saw this in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn. While still imperfect, it’s hard to argue that these movies didn’t do a better job at keeping to the books when they simply had more time to do it (admittedly, though, I only saw the Harry Potter films and haven’t even read Twilight).
So, with that logic, you may think that The Hobbit films should be awesome, right? They turned one book into not one, not two, but THREE individual movies! They must have kept in all the awesome scenes!
Turns out, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” when it comes to time given from book to movie, especially when, in the case of The Hobbit, they decide to fill in this extra space with scenes that didn’t even happen in the book, going so far as to add characters who didn’t exist.
My practically-brother-in-law sent me this article, the headline of which sums up this argument quite well:
The reason most books-turned-movie suck is because too much is cut out of them. The reason The Hobbit films suck? They stretched the source material way too far.
For God’s sake, The Hobbit isn’t even a long book. One movie would have done just fine.