The Hobbit (sort of): Battle of the Five Armies

December 29, 2014

Short review:  If at any point during a movie ostensibly called “The Hobbit,” the phrase “The spice must flow!” passes through one’s mind, something has gone quite definitely wrong.

Longer review:

I’ll get this out of the way up front:  all of the scenes with Bilbo Baggins in them were perfect.  Wonderful.  Martin Freeman lit up the screen, and I loved that thread of the movie to bits.  The thing is, I wager those scenes account for less than half of the whole movie.  This is a bit of a problem I think.

Really, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a movie filled with more extraneous b.s.  Irrelevant b.s.  Any sort of plot and character thread involving Bilbo and Thorin and the quest and the mountain became so diffuse in this installment, it was hard to pick out at all.  The more I think of it, the angrier I get, so I’m going to stop.

Except for just one more word about Tauriel, or as she is known among my friends, Extraniel, or sometimes Superfluel:  She didn’t even get to do anything.  If you’re going to build up this tragic romance between her and Kili, Sexiest of All the Dwarves (TM), at least give her the dignity of being able to destroy his killer, instead of having her fail and spending 15 more minutes of the movie watching Legolas almost kill him over and over and over again before finally killing him.  (I don’t want to be the person who bitches at how the movie isn’t like the book — but Legolas isn’t even in the frakking book!  Argh!)  I’ve said it before — sometimes, a token female character really is worse than no female character at all.

I’ll give the movie one more bit of credit, so I can leave on a positive note:  the ending was great.  I had fears of a patented Peter Jackson drawn out extravaganza with lots of singing and Dwarven funerals and Tauriel in the Grey Havens taking a ship into the West, and a “where are they now” of every single extraneous character we ever got a glimpse of, up to and including young Strider/Aragorn among the Dunedain, and we didn’t get any of that.  So, well done, movie.




8 Responses to “The Hobbit (sort of): Battle of the Five Armies”

  1. I quite enjoyed it myself, but then, just like how the character of Smaug himself made the whole previous movie worth it for me, the opportunity to spend one last time in Middle-earth was well worth the price of admission, and allowed me to forgive any shortcomings*. (Seriously, I teared up during the end credits song.)

    Speaking of the previous film, in that one the scenes with Tauriel and Kili did, in fact, make me roll my eyes. By the end of this film, though, I did feel rather sad for both of them.

    Overall, I’d give this and the other two movies — and, by extension, the trilogy — 4/5.

    *The fact that Dain was played by Billy Connoly didn’t hurt either, despite his appearance being mostly CGI, due to availability issues.

  2. Also, in relation to your Dune reference, I’d just like to mention that the Were-worms are (sort of) canon in Tolkien’s writings, though their depiction in the movie is admittedly a bit of a stretch.

  3. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Question, was young Aragorn in the film. By my calculations Aragorn was about 8 or 9 years old at the time of the Battle of the five Armys.

  4. carriev Says:

    Thranduil tells Legolas that he should go north and look for a young Ranger who goes by Strider, “But his true name you will have to discover for yourself.” So, a mention, but no actual appearance.

    And yeah, the wereworms may be Tolkien, but did they really need to look pretty much just like the sand worms in Lynch’s Dune?

  5. WanabePBWriter: Aragorn is 87 at the time of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit is set 60 years before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. So, assuming that the time that passes between Bilbo’s birthday and the rest of the story is just a few years rather than the 17 in the book, that would put Aragorn somewhere in his 20s at the time of the Battle of Five Armies.

  6. *Just a few years in the movie, that is. 😛

  7. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Jared: Thanks for the support on my Tolkien math.

  8. juliefore Says:

    I’m glad I am not the only one who’s mind flashed to Dune during the movie.

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