Home » Blog » Not really a review: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Not really a review: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

So today I watched the last hobbit movie and I find that I do not feel that excited about it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it and felt a nice sort of satisfaction that I had followed the tale to its very, very long end.

[ Spoilers below, in case you have not seen it yet]

The battle of the five armies was one of those things where I felt cheated when I read the book, where Bilbo is knocked out early on, only to awake after it was all over to find the good guys victorious, hearing the tale of how it all went down from Gandalf, then goes to weep at the bodies of Thorin, Killi and Filli. At least now we got to see the great battle, and also exactly how those three last heirs of Durin fell.

I know some disliked Tauriel and her doomed relationship with Killi, but I will say this much, the scene where she weeps over his body and tells Thranduil that she is done with love, for it hurts too much was the one deathbed scene which made me cry. Not just Tauriel’s despair, but also what Thranduil tells her in return, hinting at his own feelings for his lost wife. (Though I was disappointed we did not get a quick father-son embrace when the elven king found his son alive and well, though we did get some expression of love, wrapped up in that Legolas mother loved him.)

I will just leave no comments on Thorin’s death scene, but it did fulfill something that also bothered me in the book, that Thorin go to apologize for being a creepy asshole for a bit.

I suppose Filli is the one to be truly pitied still. He fell to his death and no one wept over his corpse. I suppose cause the primary criers (his brother and uncle died after him.)

But it must be said that it did sort of take away a bit of fear and excitement when you knew that those three would not come back safe and sound and I’ll be damned if I still could remember the names of most of the others. (I know Bombur cause he is the fat one and Balin cause he was the one who is to be found dead in Moria.)

Again I must admit, shamefully perhaps to boot, that I kind of liked those winks towards the LOTR trilogy. Like, sending Legolas off to…either babysit or just stalk teenager Aragorn and the references to the ring. Always the references to the ring (maybe I should capitalize it as the Ring).

And that brings me to my next point, that anyone who watches the Hobbit movies and THEN goes to read the book might find themselves somewhat…Disappointed.

No big battle and no merry adventure where Galdalf, Radagast, Galadriel, Saruman and Elrond goes to battle ghostly kings and repels the spirit of Sauron, kicking his ass back to Mordor. All the scenes with that gang felt like such delicious fanservice to long time fans that I could not help but giggle and cheer (though not as loud as the old lady next to me, methinks she is one of those who grew up when Tolkien’s books were still new and shiny.)

I was rather pleased that they did try to make the death of Smaug a little more dramatic in the movie. Though it has been a while since I read the book, I have this recollection that after he leaves the mountain and attacks the sea town it doesn’t take that long for Bard to find his soft spot and kill him. No drawn out, burning things everywhere and death and peril and Smaug taunting him before dying rather pathetically like a proper villain with a capital V in the book. But then, the Hobbit was written for children, so a scene like that would have been a little too scary.

Though I am someone who read scary books from a young age, so I dunno. Perhaps I am wrong.

In closing I must say that one of the highlights, which served as a nice end cap to the whole extended Hobbit movie madness was the very pretty end credits song performed by Billy Boyd (that’s Pippin from the original LOTR movies, by the way) called “The Last Goodbye”. It was nice and somber, an appropriate song with which to say farewell to Middle Earth in its cinematic form.

For that is what this movie ultimately represents. After 14 years there is not much more stuff that would make a great movie, unless Jackson is mad enough to dip into the Silmarillion (there are some interesting bits which could make for a good movie, one single movie mind you, like the story of Beren and Luthien and the Silmarils, but it needs more work to dig out and make movie ready than the other two tales).

 

So goodbye Middle Earth, your movies might have had some flaws, but nothing too upsetting, other than perhaps stretching out the Hobbit for a bit too long.  You gave me a good time, a nice escape from my daily slog and for that I am eternally grateful.

 

Namáriëor Navaer Mellon nin

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