Last night was such a high. My sister and I pulled Rylee out of school early to see the early showing of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. (Only an irresponsible adult would keep a child up late to watch a movie–haha!) After the movie, we took pictures in front of the movie poster and threw a Hobbit-style after party complete with Hobbit-themed decorations, cake, and games. Music from all three movies played in the background, along with some of our favorites from The Lord of the Rings. And after the boy went to bed, we broke out the ale and cheese and discussed the movie in more depth.
To be honest the party provided a more satisfactory conclusion to the films than the movie did. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, but it didn’t provide for me the catharsis and closure I expected. This may have been due to the lack of set-up, considering the film picked up right where it left off, with Smaug coming to burn down Laketown. There was no flashback or backtrack like in the second film to ease viewers back into the story. It was hard for me to be emotionally invested in characters that had little-to-no dialogue at the start of the movie. (Don’t get me started on the relationship between Tauriel and Kili). And after the dragon fell, there was little time to catch a breather before going into the final battle. And that’s what the movie was: a long battle–the title didn’t lie. For the casual viewer this was probably a godsend, but for me, it was a disappointment. I wanted to see more of the characters’ internal battles; instead I got a two-hour long external one.
And some of the battle sequences were cringe-worthy. There are people riding down on carts, trolls with catapults, trolls with random attachments, and trolls with body disfigurement. Might as well have had a troll in a tutu performing battle ballet. But worse were the unbelievable stunts pulled off by Legolas. Usually, these are the highlights of the action scenes, but some of his moves were just bat shit crazy–he even rode on a bat, literally!
Probably my greatest disappointment was the lack of closure at the end of the film. This movie was supposed to conclude not only the three films, but the series in general. As a fan saying goodbye to what has become a huge part of my young adult life, I wanted an ending more satisfying than all the multiple endings of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King combined. But once the battle was over, the movie wrapped up quickly. More like a “see yah” than a “Last Goodbye.” (Sorry, had to make the pun).
Bad CGI and over the top fight sequences aside, the movie really was worth seeing. There were plenty of wonderful scenes to make up for it, and as always, the characters were compelling. Bard, Thorin, and Bilbo were awesome as always, but the characters who really won the screen were Thranduil and Alfred. Yes, you heard me, Alfred! He was such a gem, offering comic relief and stealing every scene he was in. But never mind him–Thranduil! If ever you thought he was a cold and callous king you were wrong; this film reveals his sad back story and why he’s become the brooding king we love to hate in film two. If any of the scenes brought tears to my eyes it was his final one. Heartbreaking. Won’t spoil that for you!
My final thoughts: go see this film with an open-mind. Don’t expect perfection. Roll with it and roll your eyes some too. It’s fun, moving, and at times cringe-worthy, everything we’ve come to expect from the Peter Jackson adaptations. It’s not the perfect end, but it’s still a good one.
Hope your experience is as enjoyable–or better–as mine. And if you’ve already seen the movie, take a moment to leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of it. I’m curious to know what others thought of the film or films in general.
Thank you for stopping by! I wish you all a very fond farewell!