Guys! Guys! Why didn't you tell me about this? They made a movie out of my book? Have you heard about this? Talk about crazy, right? I mean, one minute I'm dicking around in my office at Oxford—making up Elvish, for flip's sake—and the next minute I'm in a movie theater, wearing 3D glasses, about to watch a Hobbit movie?!?! What!! I guess it's true what people say: Sometimes, life really can surprise you.
I know some authors can be a little particular about movies based on their work (looking in your direction, SUZANNE NEVER-SHUTS-HER-GODDAMN-MOUTH COLLINS), but if you ask me, everything about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is 100 percent straight-up baller. To be honest, now that I've seen it, I'm a little embarrassed by my book! All I ever wanted to do was write a fairy story for children who had Asperger's. I guess I did a pretty okay job! Ha! But after seeing what Peter Jackson did to my book, it's just...man. Not even close. Dude nailed it!! And there's so much stuff I don't remember writing! Like that part when Gandalf went to a haunted house, or that part when the dwarves set up a Mouse Trap-style trap for that dragon, or that part when Legolas pulled out his bow and arrow and was all FWOOSH! FWOOSH! FWOOSH! and shot like a billion orcs! TWAANNGG! RIGHT IN THE KISSER! Seriously, though, real talk: I don't even remember putting Legolas in the book. I should probably reread that thing one of these days. The new James Patterson is a hoot (sue me!), but maybe once I finish that. Apparently, Bilbo, Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey, the fat one, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Dennis, and Thorin the King Under the Mountain got into way more crap than I remember.
That's probably how Peter Jackson made this movie so long, now that I think about it! Back when I was writing The Hobbit, I kept things pretty simple. ("Maybe a story about some hairy midgets?" I recall scribbling in a margin late one night as I toiled on The Middle English Vocabulary at the University of Leeds. "Perhaps they are sad because they are small.") So I never even thought of putting in the smoke monster from "Lost," or that hobo who lets birds live in his hat, or those pugs. Ahhh! Those pugs! How cute were they, right! As soon as they wobbled onscreen I was all, "What! John Ronald Reuel! You idiot!" (Never mind that noise, everybody—it's just my facepalm! Ha!) I mean, it never even occurred to me to cram all those dwarves into that toilet, or to have that one dwarf, ol' what's-his-name, probably Dennis, seduce that beautiful elf warrior princess! Makes perfect sense when you think about it, though, because dwarves' eyes are right at the same level as elf tits. Five bucks says that in the next movie those two do it.
In conclusion, I give The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug two thumbs up and five stars—and a week's worth of thirst-quenching miruvor and delicious lembas bread! (Ha!) You should totally go, and you won't at all be reminded of what a richer, fuller, more dramatically rewarding time you could have had if you'd just stayed at home and watched Game of Thrones.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
dir. Peter Jackson
Opens Fri Dec. 13