Guess who saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last night and cried her eyes out? That’s right, ME.
For a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, sadness and… frustration? Yes.
This movie made me feel ALL THE THINGS, but I’m not sure that all the feelings I felt were good ones. Gah. Let’s look at what I did like first, shall we?
This review is spoiler-free!
(Well… mostly. I AM going to discuss the deaths of a few characters but I’m not going to tell you who died! That doesn’t count as a spoiler, right?)
- I loved the scenes with the people of Laketown
- I loved seeing the five armies, especially the elves of Mirkwood and the dwarven Ironfoot army led by Dáin
- Luke Evans and Richard Armitage gave fantastic performances as, respectively, the reluctant leader Bard the Bowman and the increasingly-driven-insane-by-gold Thorin Oakenshield
- This practically goes without saying, but Howard Shore’s score was lovely – I particularly enjoyed the Laketown theme, which was heard SOOOOO many times
- GALADRIEL KICKED BUTT WOW GIRL YOU ARE AMAZING I FREAKING LOVE YOU
- I knew those deaths were coming, but that didn’t stop me from absolutely bawling in the theater
And last but not least, I adored the end credits song, which was written and performed by Billy Boyd, who played Pippin Took in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND OH MY GOD IT MAKES ME SO EMOTIONAL UGH WHY
And now for the things I didn’t like as much. There are only two things I disliked about The Battle of the Five Armies, but… they’re both pretty big problems, in my opinion.
First of all, this film has extraordinarily bad pacing. The plot is choppy and just doesn’t “flow” very well. I can totally understand why, though – Peter Jackson chopped the story into three pieces! (Figuratively speaking, that is.) I do appreciate being able to spend all that extra time in the wonderful world of Middle-earth, but it does make for some awkward moments when the plot is way too stretched out or not stretched out enough.
There is – hmmm, how do I phrase this in order to avoid spoilers? – a death towards the beginning of the film that was sooooooooo anticlimactic, and I wish it hadn’t been like that because it was SUCH a big deal in the book.
However, I wonder if this problem could be solved by watching all three Hobbit movies back to back. After all, together they (theoretically) form one gigantic, nine-hour-long story. I may have to rewatch the movies and see how they flow, or don’t flow, together.
Ever since reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have preferred it to its predecessor. Before seeing this movie, that was mostly due to its characters and complexity and whatnot. Lord of the Rings is just darker and more thought-provoking than The Hobbit, and I like that.
Now I also like Lord of the Rings more because its movie adaptations are better. Even The Two Towers, AKA the middle of the story, has a plot that “flows” better than that of any of The Hobbit films: It has a clear beginning, middle, and end, because Tolkien wrote it that way.
When I rewatch one of the Lord of the Rings films, I don’t feel the need to rewatch the other ones too. I don’t feel as though the movies don’t make sense without each other.
(I mean, Lord of the Rings movie marathons are definitely fun, buuuuut… I’m happy to watch just one and don’t spend my time afterwards complaining, “How can you call THAT an ending?!”)
Anyway, enough of that. My other issue with The Battle of the Five Armies is also plot-related, but is about the ending rather than the movie as a whole. There was no closure! For heaven’s sake, I spent three movies and nine hours with these characters – so when some of them die, I don’t just want the remaining characters to be like, “LOL, I guess it’s time for us to head home!”
Why wasn’t the dividing-of-the-gold ever discussed after the battle? That’s why they STARTED fighting, for pity’s sake.
Why didn’t the characters say a proper goodbye to one another?
WHY WEREN’T CERTAIN CHARACTERS’ FUNERALS SHOWN?! That would’ve been, like, the ultimate sadness.
Blergh. It was kind of frustrating, as you can see from my reactions.
So, my final verdict on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? GAH. That’s it. That’s my opinion. I really, really like the book, and… well, the movie definitely had some nice moments. But overall, it’s not that great. This trilogy started with a bang, continued fairly steadily, and then fell flat on its face.
I don’t know. Maybe these three movies are better when watched one after another. But then again, I didn’t watch any of the Lord of the Rings movies back to back, yet they still made sense and flowed together well, plot-wise. I guess that I had high expectations for The Battle of the Five Armies, but they were not met. Not really.
…I guess you could say this movie was an unexpected disappointment.