The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review (and a tag) and a Merry Christmas! :D
Merry Christmas everyone! :D
As you probably know, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was my most anticipated movie of the year and I finally got to see this movie on Sunday. And I have to say, I was very impressed with the motion picture. I had seen some negative backlash on tumblr, so it had me worried, but I loved it regardless. The movies aren't the same caliber as Lord of the Rings, of course, but they are a different story and they aren't meant to be, and that doesn't at all lessen the impact of the story.
Also, before we continue, yes, I HAVE read the books(I've read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion; I also plan on reading The Children of Hurin, The Unfinished Tales, etc).
SPOILERS will follow(gifs are from tumblr; they aren't mine).
It's been years since I read the book, and from what others said, the plot did differ at times from the original, but I personally think it turned out well. The movie is definitely a part three, so it definitely needs the first two movies to stand(basically, it doesn't stand alone as an installment- which is perfectly fine, since it is one long story).
The movie begins right where the last one left off, with the dragon, Smaug, attacking Lake Town and the dwarves + Bilbo sitting horrified at what has happened(well, except for their leader Thorin, who seems to be becoming more and more morose and obsessive about his wealth). The scene with the dragon was excellently rendered as was the showing of everyone escaping(with Tauriel taking the few dwarves still in Laketown and the Bard's kids to safety, the pathetic leader of the town being all "MUST SAVE MY GOLD!!!", etc). And of course, the slaying of the dragon was just plain awesome. I loved how the Bard used his son's shoulder to aim the black arrow at the dragon(and Smaug was all "mwhahaha, you can't hit me" like the dumb villain he is- when will they ever learn to not start blabbing when they could just kill the person? XD). Smaug's death was also very impressively done- especially when he landed on top of the leader's head and boat XD. In fact, while the movie was mostly sad, there were several laugh out loud moments, which really helped lift the mood of the audience. :)
I'll go more into other areas of the plot below, but the battle scenes were great. I was surprised though at the lack of big scale battle scenes. But that was fine with me, since it was the one-on-one fights and the character moments that had me interested the most in the film.
Also, did anyone notice that Dain Ironfoot was completely CGI? It was kind of weird...XD
Since the characters are the most important part of any good movie/TV show/book, I'd like to go over the main players
"He was my friend"
Dammit, Bilbo, you made me cry!
While a tad overshadowed in The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo is back front and center in the last chapter of this fantasy epic. I have always been impressed with Martin Freeman as an actor and here he just shines. He is just so real- his emotions, his personality, everything.
But I think one of the most important things in these movies, especially in this one, was the relationship between Bilbo and the Dwarven King/Prince Thorin Oakenshield. It doesn't seem like their friendship should work- one is just an ordinary person and the other is royalty and a powerful warrior- but it does, and it does because they are equals and because they grew to respect and admire each other(and we saw it- good use of showing and not telling). Bilbo may not be a prince or of any 'importance'(in how the world tends to view people), but he'd just as loyal, brave, and honest as his friend. It's been a while, as I've said, since I've read the novel, but I was glad that Peter Jackson and his cohorts decided to expand on their friendship, since it adds a whole other dimension to both characters. And it makes the story even more tragic.
Bilbo also doesn't get knocked out as early as he does in the book, which I think was a good choice, as was the slight change to Bilbo's last scene with his friend, Thorin. In the movie Bilbo wakes up after being rendered unconscious and sees Thorin far away walking by the edge of the cliff, who then collapses. He rushes over and the scene that follows is very close to the book, and it is beautiful and heartbreaking(The eagles are coming....but they are too late...WAAAAH :'( ).
But that's not even the saddest part. For me, it was that Bilbo has such a hard time talking about Thorin after his death. When he's talking to Balin before leaving the dwarves(in a completely beautiful scene where he tells the rest of the company still alive that they are welcome anytime), he can't even get out what Thorin meant to him. Even though on the outside he seems okay, he really isn't. Because he saw a war and witnessed death, and when you see those things you are never the same.
And when he finally does reach home, enough times has passed that he can finally call Thorin his friend. In fact, the scene when Bilbo comes home to the normality of his old life, and is questioned by an elderly Hobbit, about who this "Thorin Oakenshield" is/was, Bilbo is finally able to say it, that "He was my friend." And while it is heartbreaking and sad, there is some hope since Bilbo will always remember his friend and he will be able to plant that acorn he once showed Thorin, and that acorn will grow into an Oak Tree- just like his friend's namesake.
And that is beautiful.
"Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books, your fireplace. Plant your trees, watch them grow. If more of us valued home above gold, it would be a merrier world."
Pretty king under the mountain! :)
Thorin may do a lot of villainous things at times in this movie, but through it all I still liked him as a character and a person. I said it before in my review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that I immediately liked Thorin, for some reason. There are various reasons as to why I like him, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I identify with him a bit(plus, anyone who can defend themselves only using a tree branch has my instant respect).
Of course, I will admit, Thorin does do a lot of bad in the beginning of the film, but he does redeem himself and prove that, like he said in the last film, he is "not his grandfather".
The ending fight scene between Thorin and Azog was rift with great choreography and visually was very stunning and exciting to watch(Thorin, get off the ice!). It was also, of course, very intense, especially the moment when Thorin knows that he has to let himself be stabbed to kill Azog. I knew his death was coming, since I'd read the book, but it still was very sad.
But Thorin's story teaches us that our past does not define us and that we can redeem ourselves, even when we slip. In fact, like I've heard in other reviews, his death in a way, mirrors Boromir's.
Kili and Fili
dang it Kili, why are you so pretty!? WHY!?
Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the two brothers, Kili and Fili. Kili has gotten quite a lot of development in these movies, which I appreciate, since I've always liked his character- he has a cheerful innocence that I find very endearing and is something I wish I could see in more people(since a lot of people seem to be getting more and more cynical). And, I am also glad that they gave him the extra development, because he's one of the characters who does die. And the character development, like I hinted at during my last review, really pays off. Kili's death is very tragic and upsetting. I would have done it a bit differently(Tauriel would still have been there; more on that below), but overall it was very sad to see both young dwarfs die, especially since they were still young(Kili won't be able to keep the promise he made to his mother :( ). Fili's death could have been done a tad better as well, but it was satisfactory and really represents how brutal and quick death in battle can be(so I'm fine with it). I would have liked a bit more Kili and Fili in this movie, of course, but it was still good and worked.
(and yes, I really like Kili/Tauriel. Sue me, but I do enjoy it, because it just works for me; plus, it's nice to have an OTP get some scenes).
"If this is love, I don't want it. Take it away, please! Why does it hurt so much?"
Thranduil: Because it was real.
And Tauriel! Why are you so pretty?!
Yes, I know she's not in the book, but she fits very well in the films and, in the end, I'm glad they added her. I know a lot of fans won't agree, but as a female fan, it was really nice having a female presence in the film. I like male characters, of course, but having people of the same gender as me on screen is always nice and I wish more films/TV shows would do this(since, it helps you see that you could also be a hero).
One thing I thought was interesting with Tauriel's character in this movie was that she seemed a lot younger. In the previous movie, she seemed much more adult-like and mature, but here she comes across as very innocent, which makes sense since she's in the big, dangerous world for the first time(and I can definitely relate to that- I am mature and stuff, but I felt very innocent and child-like during my first semester at college). Tauriel's character growth in this movie was very well done and her final scene was exceptionally powerful- she has obviously never experienced much loss and is wracked with grief as she sits beside a dead Kili. In this scene, she comes across as especially young- she doesn't even cradle his head, she just holds his hand to her face, as well as asking Thranduil to take this pain from her. Her king telling her that her love/feelings were real and valid, as well a contrast to his cruel words before, finally seem to break through her grief enough for her to understand that she was blest in getting to experience something that was, indeed, true. In a way, Tauriel has finally grown up and I hope that she did find peace in the end and, while she matured and understood the world, that she still kept her idealism and her heart(I must admit, I was surprised that she didn't die- I was sure she would, considering she wasn't in the book). I don't get why some fans think she was just there as a love interest- because, at least to me, she was so much more.
I did have one problem with her in the film, and that was the fact that she didn't kill Bolg. Her fight was a lot better than I had thought(I was worried she'd just get beaten up), and I loved how she pulled Bolg with her off that cliff. However, instead, she just gets hurt and needs a guy to save her/kill her foe for her :P -_- While the fight between Legolas and Bolg was cool, I would have preferred it had Tauriel do the killing(as a girl, I want to see more female characters take down larger opponents, since it's so common to see a girl get taken down by a villain without putting up much of a fight; oh well, that's what my book is for XD).
The White Council
Their part did feel a tiny bit out of place in the grand story, but it was still cool to see. Galadriel was especially a highlight with her, you know, BANISHING FREAKING SAURON TO MORDOR!
Thranduil and Legolas
Thranduil's part in this movie was really interesting and we got a much better understanding of him(instead of being just the jerk Elf King guy), especially as to why he is so reclusive and doesn't want to help the outside world. Also, the mention of his wife(and Legolas's mother) was really nice, especially when he finally spoke to his son about her and told him that "your mother loved you."
Legolas, even though he wasn't in the book, is also a welcome addition. He has some awesome fight scenes and he continues to defy the laws of physics XD. Also, he finally runs out of arrows! XD I liked that the love triangle that people were worried about was hardly even there. To be honest, you could read it as strictly platonic if you wanted(minus a few scenes). Plus, Legolas doesn't pull the whole fake nice guy crap and when he realizes that Tauriel does indeed care for Kili, he respects that, which I appreciated seeing.
The Bard, while not as major a figure as he was in the second film(at least, IMO), the Bard is still an integral character and his slaying of the dragon was really cool(as I mentioned above).
However, I was annoyed at how he was all "the women and children must be kept safe"(I've always hated the whole "women and children" thing, since it seems to infantlize women, which is quite annoying). The children I get, since they're pretty much helpless and do need proteting, but the women? Women aren't helpless, they are grown ups who can fully take care of themselves. However, the women of Lake Town decide that they will go out and fight with the men, which made me very happy! :D Women of Lake Town, I definitely respect you!(unlike those women in Rohan who just huddled away in The Two Towers -_-). Also, loved the scene with Alfrid when he was trying to pretend he was an old lady XD
The rest of the Company
The rest of the company do get their moments in the film, of course, especially Balin, who is favorite of mine :), as well as Dwalin. While not in the movie as much as they were in the previous two, they still are in the movies and hey, at least they didn't die and got to enjoy their victory(and they BETTER have had tea with Bilbo! Just saying).
Before I close out, I do want to talk a bit about the ending credits. To my happiness(I'd heard this before viewing the film), they ended it the same way they did "The Return of the King"- with hand drawn pictures of each character by the actor's name. And I have to say, the drawings were gorgeous. I can't wait for them to come out officially so I can save them! :) Plus, the score is so haunting and sad and fitting for the last Middle Earth feature. I will admit, that the ending definitely made me cry a little bit :( It's very sad to be saying goodbye to Middle Earth, but it was definitely worth the trip :)
Thank you, J.R.R. Tolkien, cast, crew, and characters, it was an honor taking this adventure with you.
Overall, a fantastic flick. Go and see it if you haven't yet. You won't regret it. :) :')
Heroine Tag Which heroine would you trade places with? Siri Tachi! :D Or any Jedi, really.
Which heroine would you push off a cliff while hoping that there are some jagged rocks at the bottom? I don't think I hate anyone that much. I mean, I despise Taria and Satine, but I wouldn't kill them- they haven't done anything that warrants that.
Maybe Anastasia Steele?(from that horrid Fifty Shades of Grey)
A heroine you couldn’t care less about? (They’re so bland that they don’t even trigger the hate in you.) Besides Bella Swan? Definitely Tris Prior from Divergent. She's just SO BORING and badly developed.
A heroine you thought you wouldn’t like but ending up liking, and vice versa?
I didn't think I'd like Piper McLean, since she wasn't very well developed in the earlier books of the "Heroes of Olympus" series, but she really grew on me in "The Blood of Olympus". Also Korra. I didn't really care for her at first(like how I felt about Anakin Skywalker at first), but she really grew on me in seasons 3 and 4 and now I like her a lot! :)
I also thought I'd like Tris, especially at first, but then she just annoyed me to no end.
A side heroine who is much more interesting than the main heroine? I find the women of the EU MUCH MUCH more interesting than Ahsoka Tano. Does that count?
Which heroine would you want as your friend? Hmmm. Siri Tachi, Jaina Solo, Hermione Granger, Annabeth Chase, Eowyn, Tauriel, Katara, Toph, Suki, Buffy Summers, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Clara Oswald, Belle(OUAT), Mulan, Elsa and Anna(OUAT), Sasha Braus, Korra, Asami, Anna Bates, etc :)
Which heroine do you wish would just CHOOSE between the guys in her little love triangle? I don't like love triangles, sooo... I will say, I'm glad the whole romance, love triangle, thingy in Legend of Korra was cleared up(with Korra and Asami ending up together- yes, it's canon, the creators confirmed it)
A “bad girl” heroine?
Black Widow kind of counts, considering her past, right?
A “good girl” heroine?
The rule following, Hermione Granger(the Brightest Witch of her age).
Your favorite heroine of them all? (If you can’t choose, pick your top three.)
Buffy Summers (The Slayer)
Toph Bei Fong
Satele Shan(and basically all the female Jedi)
Lin Bei Fong
Annabeth Chase (fanart by Viria)
the main character of my book series! XD
As I stated above, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! :D I hope you have a great rest of your year! :D