Friday, December 19, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Movie Review

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I am a big ol' nerd. I'm not bragging about how nerdy I am, because who really would? It's just that I'm okay with my nerdiness, and don't really give a crap what other people think anymore. So I've seen every single one of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien based movies as close as possible to opening day. I still watch the movies or read the books every few years (because it's one or the other. It takes so long to get through that you can't really do both in the same year). I've even labored through The Silmarillion a few times, but then I've always been a big fan of the elves. I almost entirely blame my school-girl style crush for Orlando Bloom on Peter Jackson. I don't think I would had ever been giddy over what seems to be such a douchey human being if he hadn't been made cool by the Lord of the Rings movies. I mean what I consider cool, that is. And I took my Tolkien nerdiness up to 11 this year by seeing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on pre-opening night. 
 My copy of The Hobbit is just 287 pages so I never thought it should have been pulled out into three movies, but I liked Lord of the Rings so much that I was willing to just go with it. Now I think that instead of extended editions Peter Jackson should release edited editions, and make the three into the one movie they should have been in the first place. I know that would take out basically everything involving Orlando Bloom, but he's not even supposed to be there. He's aging so badly that they over airbrushed his face and he doesn't even look like the same person anymore. But it's mostly the fact that he's not involved in The Hobbit in any way that bothers me about the whole thing. Just like Arwen in The Lord of the Rings they felt like they needed a love story, and decided to make up all kinds of crap. Whoever the hell Kate from LOST is supposed to be and Legolas have a stupid made up love triangle with a dwarf that doesn't even get a real death scene in the book. We checked because none of us could remember Kili or Fili dying in the book. They get a brief mention as having died, but that's it. No love story, no heroic “I was just super brave now kiss me” scene, nothing. The trilogy would have been at least two hours shorter, and two hours easier on the bladder of anyone trying to sit through a three hour movie right there.
Look dude, I don't know what I'm doing here either...

By far the best part of the second movie was Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Don't get too attached. I don't really feel like I'm giving spoilers by telling you what happens in an almost 80 year old book so I won't apologize for saying that you won't get to hear much of that fabulous voice this time around. He does the voice of the Necromancer (who is the older version of Sauron) too so at least you get to hear him twice, but it's definitely not enough. Don't get me wrong. Everyone else in the movie is perfectly fine, but that's kind of all they are. Martin Freeman was a stand out in the first two movies, but he really doesn't get to do much this time around. He just shows up to keep the plot moving, and is great when he does it, but there's not much room for one hobbit when you're making a big epic CGI fight movie. Elrond, Galdriel, and Saruman showing up kind of took me out of things a bit, as did the inclusion of Billy Connolly. His voice is so distinctive that you immediately know it, and once you realize it's him you can't think about anything but the fact that Billy Connolly just showed up in the big CGI fight you're watching. Now here's my biggest problem with the whole movie. There's a huge battle raging, but who is the bad guy? Smaug is dead, and Sauron is pushed back so who are we all really fighting here, an orc? Just one kind of cool looking orc? That's it? Well, and the orc armies, but still. Everyone in this movie is kind of a dick, and they're all a little bit a bad guy. Thranduil is a dick, Thorin is a dick, and even Bard is a bit of a dick. It's just a bunch of dicks getting in this epic CGI battle. It's a CGI cock fight...
Sleepy, Surly, Dopey, Dreamy, and the rest of the dwarves

And don't get me wrong. The big epic CGI battle everyone is watching this for in the first place is top shelf. It is beautiful, and epic, and such well done CGI that you'd probably be amazed if you had never seen the battle for Helm's Deep. Or the two really big battles that wrap up Return of the King. It's like Peter Jackson shot his load in the first trilogy, and this is kind of all he has left in him. How do you one up the best thing you've ever done? You don't really. You just do the best with what you've got left of the shortest part of the shortest book of the source material you're working with. I really really wish that Peter Jackson would have started with The Hobbit, and worked his way out from there. Chronologically it would make more sense and there were so many more places he could have gone. There are appendices of The Lord of the Rings that are longer than The Hobbit. They would have been fine stand alone movies. I would totally watch Legolas and Gimli go off adventuring together. Or the later life of Aragorn and Arwen. Any of those should be coming out now to help wrap things up. Instead we're getting wrap up from some more made up crap. Thranduil telling Legolas to try and find a young ranger in the north who we all know is Aragorn. And I looked it up. In The Lord of the Rings Aragorn is 87. That's the prime of life for the Dunedain so if Legolas does go out and look him up he's only 27 when he finds him. And it's "Lord of the Rings Babies" at that point. Although I'd kind of like to see that, I don't need bows wrapping up my huge multi-book Tolkien adventuring. When Aragorn saw Legolas in the first Lord of the Rings movie they obviously knew each other, and I didn't need a reason why. They're both old, and did some shit before, and that's all I need to know about it because I'm not nosy. I don't need to see the entire life story of a character to care about them. Maybe I'm weird like that because the producers and writers obviously thought someone out there wanted to know. 

Despite what some people (Sharron) think I don't hate everything. I didn’t hate this. I just hated that this was made into something it shouldn't have been. It's epic, it's beautiful, and it's totally worth seeing on the big 3D screen. I just think Peter Jackson needs to rest up for a bit before he does anything else.

No comments:

Post a Comment