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31 December 2014 @ 05:54 am
Film Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies  
I'm still on vacation with my family so my Internet access is somewhat spotty. I'm behind on listening to the Good Omens radio play as a result as well as reading a bunch of fic. But I did get a chance to finally see the last installment of The Hobbit. The fact that I saw it in theaters with my mother added to the fun because as always, she had a few comments.

Overall, I enjoyed the last movie. Not only because it was the last movie in this over stretched trilogy but because it felt like stuff actually happened in it. The second movie suffered a lot, in my humble opinion, due to the fact that not much really happened and it felt like this book could have easily been adapted into two movies at the most. But, onto the stuff that was good about the third film.

Richard Armitage as Thorin. My mother is a huge Armitage fan. She saw this trilogy because of him and despite the fact that she's not a fan of anyone else in the movie. In fact, she thought she was going to have to tolerate Martin Freeman as the titular hobbit in order to see Armitage. But during the first and second movie, she got all conflicted because she liked Bilbo a lot but sort of hated Thorin. She summed up Thorin as "that naysayer guy" and whenever he bitched and moaned about something she'd exclaim, "Well, then do something about it, jerk!" at the screen. However, both she and I agreed that Armitage really pulled it together for the third movie when Thorin went gold crazy and redeemed himself just before dying. She also grew to really like Thorin's relationship with Bilbo and was rather appalled in a good way when Thorin nearly threw Bilbo from the mountain after the latter gave over the Arkenstone. "No, Thorin! Don't you remember the acorn conversation!? Don't do it!!"

I initially had some doubts about how quickly Thorin fell under the gold sickness but acting-wise, I thought it was the best acting Armitage did in this film series. You could sort of see the moments when he would come back to himself and wonder what the hell he was doing before he fell back to wanting to hoard all the treasure. I also very much enjoyed his last fight with Azog, particularly when he used physics to get Azog to fall through the ice.

He had only a short appearance in this one but I still really liked Smaug the dragon. The effects with the dragon being created from the motion capture acting by Benedict Cumberbatch was very awesome to watch. However, my mother did point out he basically pulled a Bond villain by gloating for 15 minutes, thus giving Luke Evans ample time to set up and aim the black arrow straight at his vulnerable point. Oh well. Pride and all of that.

I know other reviews criticized the overabundance of fight sequences in this one but I actually didn't mind it. I was still stinging from the poor second installment that had about 20 minutes of needed footage so it made sense to me that so much battle stuff got put into the third movie. My only one ringing criticism for the series in general was the addition of Tauriel. I liked that Peter Jackson felt the need to balance out the all male cast but he didn't use Tauriel for very much, other than as a love interest for Kili which felt like a complete waste. Plus, I was incredibly annoyed that both Kili and Legolas had to save her from Bolg and that the latter got to kill him. I thought at the very least she should have been able to avenge Kili. She's a warrior! Use her as such!

All in all, the series ended strong. As they were with the previous films, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan and Lee Pace all gave in strong acting performances. I may have dabbed my own eyes with tissues when Bilbo said goodbye to the remaining dwarves before he set out for home. "Tea is at 4pm. Don't bother knocking." SNIFF.
aelfgyfu_mead: Bilboaelfgyfu_mead on January 1st, 2015 02:31 am (UTC)
Plus, I was incredibly annoyed that both Kili and Legolas had to save her from Bolg and that the latter got to kill him. I thought at the very least she should have been able to avenge Kili. She's a warrior! Use her as such!
Yes! I was SOOOOO annoyed by that! Tauriel was wasted.

I did like this one better than the second, though, as you did.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 4th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
I realize that before Jackson took it back, Guillermo Del Toro was supposed to direct this movie or movies. I wonder if Tauriel would have existed then and if so, would she have gotten more to do than be saved and mourn?
aelfgyfu_mead: Bilboaelfgyfu_mead on January 4th, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
We'll never know! del Toro, Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens all co-wrote it before the handover, but apparently a number of changes were made after del Toro left. No one seems to be specifying what those changes were!

I'm always saying there should be more women writing scripts and just in the writers' rooms, but somehow, having half the writers be women didn't stop the mess that they ultimately made of Tauriel.
tommycruisestommy50702 on January 20th, 2015 02:06 am (UTC)
The first two movies had several 'over the top' moments but nothing like radical re-writing of the story and totally changing main story lines. I am very disappointed by the 3rd movie.