Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, or Let’s Mercifully End This Already (2014)

hobbit-poster-bifur

Actually I think this is really Bloofburg…

 

*LOUSY WITH SPOILERS*

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, various other dwarves who I think were all made of cardboard

Directed by: Peter Jackson (Meet the Feebles; Bad Taste; Dead Alive)

Synopsis: Everything that happened in the previous two films in this trilogy finally comes to a head in a ferocious battle for… something… between five armies: dwarves, the Lannisters, the Confederacy, Ewoks, and the 1985 Chicago Bears defense.

 

BRIAN: I barely remember much about the movie, except for the gold madness scene.

BRAD: I’d like to rip apart the Legolas jumping from the bricks of that tower AS THEY WERE FALLING. Only Wile E. Coyote is know to have that ability.

And remember when Thorin watched that Orc under the ice and ultimately got stabbed in the foot?
 
Or the fact that the 12 other Dwarves hated that they could’ve join the big battle but also didn’t leave the mountain either.
 
Remember the Elf king’s deer that he rode and how the antlers looked bigger and way heavier than the actual deer itself?
Thradnuil elk

“What kind of horse is that?” “Elk if I know.”

 
Oh and how Thorin’s cousin rode a hog and how ridiculous that idea actually is?

BRIAN: I actually pretty much forgot about all that.

There’s also the giant worms that were set up to do something big and they just made a few holes in a hill and disappeared.

And when Bard used his son for a bow, which would have at the very least torn his arm off.

And how the biggest asshole in the trilogy (besides Thorin) was continuously trusted by Bard, and then got no comeuppance at all at the end.

And all the dwarves in the main cast who didn’t speak one line in this movie.

And how they all made a big deal of putting on armor, but didn’t join the battle, and then took it all off before they actually did join the battle. And there was no other mithril armor available, and Bilbo wears it instead of the king, which totally would have saved him at the end.

And how those giant bats who were “bred for war” barely did anything.

And how the ridiculous romance between Kili and Tauriel went absolutely nowhere.

And how Legolas’s dad told him to go find Aragorn, for no real reason, and who would have been 10 at the time.

BRAD: Those giant worms retreated back in fear at the huge dwarf army! There was no way those 100-feet long worms were going to stand a chance.

Bard didn’t much care if his son lived or died when he shot that arrow. He just wanted Smaug dead. And no matter how much Lake-town was already destroyed and engulfed in flames. He was taking that dragon DOWN no matter what!

How that asshole lived through the whole ordeal is baffling! Even more baffling is how much responsibility he was given by nearly every major good guy in this film from Bard to Gandolf and even that elf king. Just looking at that guy reeked of sleaze and distrust but hey, please watch over Bilbo and make sure he doesn’t leave.

There was 3 speaking dwarf characters in this entire film. Forget about remembering their names; they probably forgot too.

Remember when Super-Legolas grabbed a war-bat by the legs and somehow controlled the bat’s flight so he could get to the top of that tower? Classic Legolas.

Tauriel risked not only her status among the elves and banishment but she also risked her life falling for that one “handsome” dwarf in the 20 minutes they actually knew each other. Her father, the elf king knew it was a sham yet when Kili dies and Tauriel is in anguish the Elf king knew it was “true love.”

We can also discuss how the math of the title is off. 5 armies? I counted 4. The Dwarves, the Elves, the Humans and the Orcs. I guess you can say it was an army of Orcs and Goblins but if we’re counting every “species” here then we’re leaving out the Worgs, the Bats, the Worms and the Trolls. So it’s now a battle of 8 armies. But once the humans, dwarves and elves banded together it made one army right? And if the bad army of the Orcs, Goblins and other were one army then it’s really a battle of 2 armies after all. Why did they call this movie that title anyway when it wasn’t even a chapter title in the original novel? It’s confusing when they didn’t outright say who the armies were. It could’ve easily been called The Hobbit: The Return Journey. Or The Hobbit: Battle with Dragon Sickness.

And all they needed was one...

And all they needed was one…

Speaking of, Thorin’s self cure of the Dragon Sickness was completely lame and ham-fisted. He basically flashbacked his way out of it by thinking about all the people who helped him, guided him and tried to persuade him to be a good dwarf. I would’ve preferred one of his compatriots fight him until he knocked some sense into him or like Indiana Jones, when he was brainwashed by Mola Ram was “burned” out of his evil state. It would’ve been better than him just snapping out of it.

Getting back to the Armies of the title, each army had stake in the mountain’s treasure (which is really just the dwarves by right). But after the battle it wasn’t shown if any of the good guys got some gold for their alliance and stopping the Orcs and Goblins. So did all their greed just end after the battle? They were willing to kill the dwarves to get the gold and treasure before their lives were threatened by the Orc army but afterwards all’s forgiven and forgotten. And the worst of it is Thorin’s dwarf cousin’s army who aids him. Did they just up and leave after the battle without compensation for their efforts?

I don't see the problem, I mounted a few pigs in college myself.

I don’t see the problem, I mounted a few pigs in college myself.

BRIAN: The funniest line of the movie may have been, “They forgot about the earth eaters.” Well, yeah, because they don’t do anything.

In a movie full of senselessness, the fact that they not only didn’t kill or exile that sleazeball but gave him important tasks to do was probably the most senseless of all.

The elf king was Legolas’s dad, not Tauriel’s. But he knew it was true love all the same, because he seemed like a guy who knew a lot about love.

Apparently nerds count the second wave of orcs or goblins or whatever as the fifth army, even though they were really just a secondary part of the orc army.

The Hobbit: Give Us Money and Let’s Get This Shit Over With

The dragon sickness cure was hands-down the worst scene of 2014. Worse than anything in Snowpiercer, even. I’m ashamed of Peter Jackson for that scene.

I assume the elves got their jewels back that they didn’t really care about before yet were willing to lose many lives in battle over. And the humans and Thorin’s cousin probably wet their beaks a bit. But who was in charge of the mine after Thorin died? Bloofburg?

BRAD: Arnold Bloofburg CPA!

Also what was the point of the Sauron and Nazgul fight other than tie this movie about a Hobbit, dwarves, elves and Gandalf to the other trilogy? To me that scene was horrible because it showed just how ineffective and retroactive everyone of importance was that they knew Sauron wasn’t destroyed and dead like they thought. Even if they believed Saruman was going to take care of Sauron like he said, did Elrond, Galadriel or Gandalf ask him about it between this trilogy and the Lord of the Rings? “Hey Saruman, whatever happened to Sauron? Did you destroy him for good?” “Oh! Um…yeah. He’s toast. No need to worry about him anymore.” “Oh. OK. Great. Thanks!”

BLOOFBURG: And what was the point of them being ghosts or whatever if they could be defeated with a sword? And Sauron’s “HOLY FUCK, I’M OUTTA HEEEEEEERRRRRRRE! [CAR TIRE SQUEALING SOUNDS]” and disappearing into the horizon was comical and really lessened the all-powerful image of his character.

BRAD: All-powerful? You mean the giant flame eye on the tower? Or when he swatted men away with a mace wen he had the ring?

I’m still cracking up at Bloofburg! Hilarious!

And I’ve been thinking about Bilbo. Did he have any friends at the Shire? Was he a wacko recluse or something? Even Frodo had Sam to hang out with and help him out. Like he couldn’t have a friend keep an eye out for his house when he was gone. Get his Hobbit mail or water his geraniums? How ever long Bilbo was gone, by the time he returned they were not only auctioning off his stuff but they didn’t even recognize him! Did any one ever really know Bilbo?!

BRIAN: Both. As in what is supposed to be the most feared being in the land just hightailing it away from a battle. And if Galadriel is supposed to be that much of a badass, why isn’t she helping out more? In either trilogy?

Yeah, didn’t they say he was gone 18 months? Believing he was dead, fine, but they really forgot what he looked like? He seemed to have no friends at all. The dwarves liked him much more than anyone in the Shire ever did, and he was a hero there. He probably should have just stayed with them.

BRAD: I just searched for the defeat of Sauron scene and it’s not online yet but I wanted to add in Dr. Claw’s infamous “I’ll Get You Gaaaadgeeeettttt!” as he’s flying away in the distance. Also, someone already beat us to having Legolas be like Super Mario when he’s jumping from brick to brick (the video is banned in this country however, but here’s a Tetris one!)

Not to defend Galadriel but I think they wanted her to be a badass who was reserved or afraid of her power because she was already corrupted with a ring made by Sauron. There was that one scene in Fellowship where Frodo offered her the One Ring and she looked as if she was going to explode with evil and yet she relented. I think they want her to be that one really smart person who knows that they will ultimately fail with too much power.

All in all, there’s absolutely nothing to hate in this Hobbit trilogy especially if you are already a Tolkien fan. I enjoyed myself even through the slogging parts because Jackson does such a great technical job. The music, the sets, the graphics and special FX and the acting are so well done that I can see past the over-indulgence the filmmakers took with making a 275 page childrens’ book into a 8 hour epic trilogy. Sure it could’ve been way shorter but if you’re a fan of the written work and the myth that Tolkien created then it’s forgivable I think. I look forward to getting the BD box set with all three movies to rewatch with added footage because I’m a fan enough.

BRIAN: But she still had her ring. If she was afraid of the power why didn’t she just throw it away?

Are you serious? I’ll never watch these again. I watched a few minutes of the last one on HBO recently and was still bored and underwhelmed. I just couldn’t give a shit less about this whole trilogy with one likable character whose fate you already know. Even Gandalf and Legolas are kind of dicks in this trilogy.

That one likeable character being Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf. R.I.P.

That one likeable character being Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf. R.I.P.

BRAD: I see your point about these characters. Thorin is supposed to be a rootable hero character that returns to reclaim his home and fortune but is one of the biggest assholes in film history. But I was watching clips of the last two movies on YouTube and kinda wanted to rematch them since I forgot so much going into Battle of the Five Armies. Maybe I forgot a lot of them for a reason but I am a fan enough of what Jackson has done with this world and myth to want to revisit them (parts of them) sometime in the future. These movies weren’t Star Wars prequels bad you have to admit. They are just over-cooked and over-indulgent to as what was put into them. I’m also hoping that someone makes a true Hobbit cut that’s 2–4 hours long that cuts out whatever isn’t in the novel.

BRIAN: I think so much is interwoven and shoehorned into the films that cutting them down would be kind of impossible. I like Peter Jackson too but this trilogy seemed like he just wanted to get the job done. They’re not as bad as the Star Wars prequels but almost as lazy.

BRAD: I blame Guillermo del Toro for whatever failed in this trilogy.

BRIAN: Agreed.

Brian’s Score: 6 armies and counting (out of 10)

Brad’s Score: 7 flare-ups of dragon sickness (out of 10)

10 thoughts on “Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

  1. I kind of skimmed this as I might watch this. Someday. If I decide I give enough of a shit. But oh how I wish those really were the five armies in your synopsis! I’d be far more interested in seeing THAT.

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  2. Awww Hank the Dwarf! Poor guy…. can you believe Eric the Midget, I mean Actor, died too… what the hell.. but hey Beetlejuice is still alive and well! I am not a fan of the Hobbit, never have been, I get so bored I don’t know what it is about those movies.

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  3. It’s funny when supposed film critics base their Hobbit reviews on a totally different set of movies (LoTR).
    Surely they should be judged on their own merits? The Hobbit isn’t as good as LoTR but then to be honest in my opinion few films are.

    Like

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