Monday, December 22, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies review

Friday morning we hit the first available showing. I took it all in and let it simmer for a few days. Thought that would be the best thing to do before righting down thoughts on this movie.

Alright. Here we go!

This is the final chapter in the Hobbit films or the third part of the Lord of the Lord of the Rings prequel. Did it live up to my expectations?

Well yes.

Really it did. 
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Still the greedy and dwarf version of Aragorn.
See after the first Hobbit film I knew this was a three part prequel to the Lord o' Rings that was going to be loosely based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work The Hobbit. The second film only gave more strength to this idea. The third film firmly cements that idea and establishes the Hobbit film as a three part prequel to Peter Jackson's Lord o' Rings. So I went in with the expectations of a dragon resolution and a big fight afterward and that was it.

On with the show already right?!

We jump right into Smaug torching Laketown and that bit runs the gambit. Then we get a bit of Laketown survior remorse. There is the dwarves all happy that the Lonely mean Erebor is there home again. The White Council faces off against Sauron because that bit was coming and needed resolution. There is the approaching dread of Azog and his army of goons. There is more elf and men vs. dwarf politics. Bilbo does some stuff. Thorin has a tantrum. Then we get awesome battle. A multi level showdown. Wait! Here comes sad faces.Then the final farewell to Middle Earth. That is the gist of the film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
We are the prettiest people in the film. Right?
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Nope I am! Look at my elf version of Blue Steel!

There is a lot of stuff in here that I thought was wildly entertaining. There were a few moments that I found pretty awful. The fun and the bad pretty much were even to me. For every bit of awesome sauce there was a grumble or cringe.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
"You're telling me that if you killed Smaug you would have surfed down his neck?"

What was so awesome? 

Smaug torching Laketown
The giant battle! 
Troll battering ram
Dwarf ram and pig calvary.
Giant moose mount.
Soooo many heads being looped off!
Dain and the Iron dwarves.
Beorn air drop.
Wrecking ball troll with peg legs!
Shai Hulud the Great worm.
Dwarf battle formations and elves leaping over dwarf battle formations.
Troll catapults!

War goats The Battle of the Five Armies The Hobbit
Dwarf ram calvary!

What was not awesome?

Dwarf/Elf love story. BY THE GODS WHY!?!?!
Shai Hulud the Great worm.
Thorin's trippy and too long dream sequence.
Only thrre dwarves really make an appearance and do anything of substance.
Anything about Laketown survivors after they get to Dale.
Some weak CGI during the battle.
The forced tie-ins with the Lord o' Ring movies like....
The whole White Council bit.
Saurmon and Sauron open ending
The heavy handed Legolas going to find the Dunedain rangers ending! This is the worst!

There is a good fantasy movie here. It just is not the Hobbit. We should all know that by now! Do not go in thinking this is the last 50 pages of the Hobbit. It is some of that, but not a lot. This film ties everything up nicely and sets the stage for the next three movies. I guess that was the plan all along.

If it was in the book and on screen I loved it! If it was made-up story for whatever reason, then I was not impressed. If it was fun filler during the battle then it was entertaining! Seriously, how can anyone not think troll catapults and a battering ram are not just fantastic? After all three have now been seen, I can say I don't hate the Hobbit films. I just pick and choose the scenes I really like and ignore the rest. The novel is in here it is just hard to find at times. 

This is a great fantasy movie. It covers the majority of the bases: elves,dwarves, men, dragon, orcs, goblins, ogres, troll, giant bats, magic items, sorcery and grand combat. It is just loosely based on the Hobbit events.

1 comment:

  1. Good review Ian. It's a solid end to a trilogy which has, for the most part, been fine. Not perfect, but still enjoyable enough for what it was.