Merry Christmas! I hope you've been having a nice festive time!
Yesterday I went to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and I thought I'd share my thoughts here.
Non-spoilery verdict: it wasn't too bad! But that may just be because my expectations were so low, that the film didn't have to do much to surpass them. I mentioned how tired I was with the second film last year, right?
Spoilery thoughts below:
As I said: this film wasn't too bad. I think the main reason was that they actually set half the film aside for character development. Can you believe that? For half the film there was more talking than fighting! Oh happy day!
Don't get me wrong. The extensive action scenes were overdone and tiresome, and the whole film was still generally too long, but it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting.
It's too close to Christmas for prose, so here are the main points I came away with:
1. When it comes to the most attractive characters (clearly a very important part of the film) Bard won, hands down. He had some competition: Thranduil was trying to look as pretty as possible and Thorin had his moments. But Bard still won imo. It also helps that his character isn't an arse. (Lisa, who I went to see the film with, is a particular fan of Kili, and so she left the theatre pretty distraught. Heirs of Durin fans, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.)
2. Speaking of Thorin, I like how his madness went down. And bless him, he's so fond of Bilbo. 'None of the other losers will get a penny, but here, Bilbo, have this expensive mithril shirt to keep you safe and sound.'
3. Martin Freeman, once again, is absolutely stellar as Bilbo. Well done that man. And Bilbo, of course, spends the whole film playing with Thorin's crown jewels.
4. Next up in the innuendo stakes is Thranduil, who came on to Gandalf pretty hard. 'You have started this and you'll forgive me if I finish it.' Oh my! Gandalf, meanwhile, just wanted to make sure that everyone got the happy ending he'd envisaged.
5. Saruman had two badass elves to flirt with for himself, but the weirdo was too busy with his crush on Sauron to bother. (And you have checked out Phobs artwork of pretty, blond Sauron and young Saruman, right? The best thing about the whole Hobbit trilogy is that it got Phobs drawing amazing fanart.)
6. In fact, everyone was having emotional moments in the film, and they kept being broken up so we could see Legolas do some more 'cool' stuff. 'Give it a rest, Legolas,' said everyone (including Peter Jackson, apparently, this time), 'we don't actually care.'
7. Legolas then had his own emotional moment in the firm of a hissy fit: 'Well, I'm not going to go home then. Not, like, ever.' To which his Dad was suitably unimpressed and said, 'Do us all a favour and bugger off to bloody Aragorn, then.'
'Nope. Still not getting it.''
'Haven't you seen the Lord of the Rings?'
'Is that a new series on Netflix?'
'Oh forget it.'
Don't worry, Thranduil. Once Legolas falls for that dwarf instead, things'll get a lot easier. (Btw. Has anyone done the maths? Would Aragorn be wandering around as Strider at this point? Or would he actually be down in Gondor or Rohan or somewhere?)
8. The best part of the film was the arrival of Billy Connolly. You could hear everyone in the cinema having a 'Wait. Is that Billy Connolly?' moment. It was great. And his character was pretty cool too.
9. Mountain goats are also cool.
10. Giant worms are not.
11. Eagles always save the day.
12. So that was it. Not too bad a film, and I liked the bittersweet ending. Also, because I am a ridiculous fan despite everything, the shot of Ian Holm at the end and the lines from the Fellowship of the Ring made me feel kinda funny (in a good way).
In conclusion: not as bad as I thought it would be. You know, I reckon they should make a sequel. No idea what it would be about though.
Comment from: Emma Visitor
I agree with this list-form review! The movie wasn’t too bad. I cried every time Thorin talked, I managed to care about what happened to everybody, I continually missed twinkle-eyed joyful LotR Legolas, I made subtle kissy-faces at Bard, I sat in gravest awe of Thranduil’s elvish elvishness… success.
I’m waiting until I can watch it at home before I say anything about it myself. I regret my intense hatred of The Desolation of Smaug, actually — as a Tolkien adaptation it was bobbins, of course, but as an Action-Packed Hollywood Blockbuster™ with elves and dwarves and a talking dragon? Not bad. & I only noticed that once I saw it on teevee. (I have similar experiences with most superhero movies.) (I should probably just stay out of the theater, period.)
Anyway! Well done.
Comment from: Member
You know. I’ve only seen The Desolation of Smaug the once at the cinema. I’ve not watched it at home, despite owning the DVD. Apparently I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Maybe this year! I may well find it more bearable, just like you did.
(Realistically, my main gripe with The Desolation of Smaug was that there weren’t nearly enough Mirkwood Elves in it. Or, at least, Mirkwood elves whose names don’t begin with L. And end with -egolas.
And if I’m really telling the truth: I just wanted fanon!Thranduil ok! I wanted Party King, complete with pink shutter shades and iPhone and everything. I am crying.)
As for the Battle of the Five Armies, I look forward to reading your review when you’ve watched it again! I still think they should have only made one Hobbit film, but at least this last one wasn’t too bad a way to end it.
(Also. Apparently comments on these posts show the newest at the top now. Huh.)
Comment from: Member
I’m getting around to the rest of it! I’ve just got to take some photos and defrost the freezer first (that last part is unrelated to blogging but is necessary).
Comment from: nick Visitor
I don’t think that this was your Christmas highlight, fanine!