I was thinking of writing a review of Peter Jackson’s second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. But this review by Ethan Gilsdorf makes most of the same points I would have made. Overall, I agree with Gilsdorf that the Jackson’s second Hobbit movie isn’t nearly as good as the first, which I reviewed here. Like Gilsdorf, I think The Desolation of Smaug obscures the central point of the story by adding too many unnecessary scenes and subplots (including some that were invented by the film producers rather than J.R.R. Tolkien).
I’m not a purist who believes that film adaptations of books must rigidly stick to the plot of the original. Some changes are often necessary. But several of the ones in this movie just don’t work very well. That said, the movie is still fun to watch and there are many good scenes to offset the relative clunkers.