The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies

Posted: January 20, 2015 by Micah in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

All right, so as I panickedly try and catch up on the movies I watched this December here’s a very late review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Desolation of the Battle of Five Journeys!!!

Micah Reviews: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies

After two rough and more then a little awkward movies, Peter Jackson presents us with the last in his three movies about one smallish book.

The defining movie in a series that has only been defined by its complete lack of definition.

The defining chapter in a series that has only been defined by its complete lack of definition.

The Plot:

When we last left our noble dwarfs they had just been chased around the Lonely Mountain for twenty minutes for absolutely NO REASON!!! When we pick up the story Smaug (possibly the best looking dragon in the history of Cinema) is paying a wee Christmas visit to Lake Town but his presents aren’t little toys for all the girls and boys who have met his arbitrary system of good and evil. No no no. His presents are DEATH and FIRE and he gives them to EVERYONE. Unfortunately for Smaug, Bard (a human who looks and acts astonishingly like Legolas) creates a bow out of two loose pieces of string, some tin foil, and a bobbie pin and somehow fires a spear that hits the Dragon right in his glowing red, video game, weak spot. And he dies.

Roll credits.

Oh wait, no, there’s more. So when the Dragon is dead (*sob*) all the poor people from the destroyed “Lake Town” (or as we must now call it) “Lake.” Head on up to Smaugs (RIP) mountain to claim them some treasure!! But in the way of their claiming them some treasure are some of the aforementioned dwarfs and a small hobbit person: so they give up.

BUT THEN a bunch of elves show up and their King rides a moose and they want some stuff from the mountain for reasons that were explained in the very beginning of the first movie (roughly a decade ago in cinema time) so there’s a lot of shouting and angry people and everyone tries to murder each other when the elven army isn’t busy practicing dance moves.

BUT THEN a bunch of other dwarfs show up and their King rides a giant pig (not to be outdone by the elf king… do you remember the original trilogy when people rode ya know… horses?)!! They came to fight the elves and the lake people to keep the dwarfs already in the mountain from having to do it… maybe. So they get all set up to fight the elves and the good people of Lake Ash.

"Yes might dwarfs, charge!! FOLLOW THE PIG!!"

“Yes mighty dwarfs, charge!! Follow my pig’s curly tail TO BATTLE!!”

BUT THEN a huge bunch of orcs and goblins show up riding on the backs of (or very possibly inside of) some huge giant death worms. They pretty much just wanted to murder some people and NOW we actually have a battle. A big battle of stuff and things and excitement and Trolls who are somehow battering rams.

Will the dwarfs, elves, Lake people, Lollipop guild, and New York Mets be able to beat off the orcs? What’s happening with Thorin and his raging insanity? What’s happening with Gandalf, Galadriel, and the Lost Boys on top of Hushabye Mountain??? Can Batman really save the day? And other various plot related questions!!!

The Pros:

Despite the above japery, I actually liked this movie. The story was good, the characters are interesting, and the last climactic battle is VERY climactic. It’s the Hobbit movie we actually wanted, less old people sitting around and talking, less dragons chasing dwarfs pointlessly around, more actual things we care about.

You can raise a lot of gripes about Peter Jackson’s take on the Hobbit over these last three movies but the man knows how to direct a battle scene.

The cast is still very solid, Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo and Richard Armitage’s Thorin finally shows some real character depth. It’s a solid cast and we get to spend more time actually watching them do stuff as opposed to watching them just sort of mill around waiting things to happen to them.

The Cons:

Still a little bit of “movie bloat” happening here. Particularly when Legolas and “Token Girl Elf” go chasing after an orc and sneak up to this massive fortress… and then turn around and go EXACTLY BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM. Zero change, nothing happens. They leave. The come back. Twenty minutes of our lives.

This is, admittedly, kind of nit-picky but in the continuing march of weird animals that people ride in this movie (rabbits, eagles, elks, pigs) at the end of the movie Thorin and his dwarfs come charging out of the lonely mountain (where they have been the entire movie) and are riding on GIANT MOUNTAIN GOATS… where did the goats come from??? Do they live in the mountain? Do dwarfs have a once a day spell where they can just conjure a mountain goat out of the ether???

Goaty the  magical mountain goat everyone.

Goaty the magical mountain goat everyone.

Thorin’s “gold sickness” was… kinda weird. Like I get it, it’s in the book (note the “one book” thing Peter Jackson), but at one point he started talking in ultra slow motion… is that like a side affect??? “May cause extreme slow motion talking,” and then he recovered through some super trippy spinny camera and then he got… swallowed… by a golden lake. Then he was fine. Like couldn’t we have just had him ya know… have a conversation or a flashback to when his father had the same problem?? Is the only way to get over gold greed-brain to be swallowed by a metaphorical lake of gold???

In Conclusion:

The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies is (at last) a good Hobbit movie. It’s still not perfect, but it is far far better then the last two movies and finally  gives us some emotional payoff for our time investment of the last two years. It’s a movie that focuses on the good parts of the last two movies and ignores the other parts nicely. The battles are great, the characters are interesting, and the conclusion is actually (ya know) conclusive.

I give it 4 magical mountain goats out of 5.

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