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.
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.