The Hobbit: The Unnecessary Masterpiece

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is the FINAL Peter Jackson Lord Of The Rings franchise movie……..for now at least. Given that they made 3 more movies from one really SHORT book, I wouldn’t be surprised is somehow, someday, they’re gonna make three more of these things. (Say, “The Life and Death of Aragorn”, or “The Misadventures of Legolas and Gimly” or “Where Frodo Went On That Ship”, or “Sam: The Musical”)


My one, major complaint about this movie was how unnecessary it was. The whole trilogy of the Hobbit was unnecessary, really. Everything would have been able to fit in a single movie, and even the creators know it. The movie starts with the conclusion of the battle against Smaug. That threat, as big as he was, was dealt with even BEFORE the title card appears! This could have easily been the end to the second movie and yet the film makers chose to cut it in that annoying cliff-hanger way just to justify and have us come back for a third movie!

Well THIS is misleading.

The major structure of the third installment of The Hobbit series is the war between the five armies of middle-earth. With Smaug defeated and the mountain fort taken, Thorin Oakenshield and his 13 man company prepare to defend it as every other race in middle-earth – elves, humans, and orcs alike – want to lay claim on the gold-stocked stronghold.

(Some Spoilers ahead!)

With a premise like that, you’d expect SOME resolution to their gigantic war. The humans wanted a share of the gold to help rebuild their broken city, sexy elf king (Lee Pace) sought to take back their elfish star light diamonds, the dwarves wanted to keep everything for themselves, and the orcs just wanted to kill everyone, you know, like any good orc would. In the end, I don’t think ANY of them got what they wanted. Did the humans get any gold? Did sexy elf king get his jewels? They never really show the resolution of their insane and sort of trivial battle. The Battle of the Five Armies was a war movie, for the sake of making a war movie.

sexy king elf
Sexy king elf, Thranduil...but sexy king elf is so much easier.

And it was practically 70%, war scene. For those who aren’t familiar with the book, the story actually climaxes during the battle with Smaug, and NOT the war. This is, again, another one of Hollywood’s attempts at cashing in on an enormous franchise by force-extending a story unnecessarily; an attitude that sometimes gets in the way of making a proper movie. (See Mockingjay) In TBOTFA’s case, the conflict and how it's resolved felt manufactured/forced, and you kind of see this while watching.

These were the actual odds.

For one, it was totally unlikely that the good guys still came out victorious considering the focus they gave to how out-numbered they were against the orcs. The only reason this could be possible is because those orcs seemed like they were made of paper! Another is that the giant bats, which were given a considerable amount of setup, were never utilized in the end. Some things just didn’t make sense; an effect, I assume, of not being able to base it from the novel.

That said though…

…I still enjoyed it VERY MUCH! Despite my distaste of Hollywood’s commercial mentality, the movie is still pretty darn good! People might ask, “who wants to watch a 2 and a half hour long fantasy war movie?”, but I say, who DOESN’T want to watch an epic, 2 hour and a half hour long fantasy war movie?!?!?! Especially one with Peter Jackson on the helm!

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The armies of middle-earth!

Peter Jackson has a fetish for massive war set pieces and he’s already gotten it down to a formula – large scale sword fights, armors and swords clashing, distinct and visually colorful races, wave after wave of reinforcements that eventually culminate when the most unlikely of cavalries come to tip the scales for our heroes. We even half expect these to happen, but we still eat it up! Every time! The Battle of the Five Armies is fantasy war epic at its finest. Intense action beats, dance-like choreographies, gorgeous visuals, and stirring battlefield drama prove that Peter Jackson is a master of his art.

Not only does he shine on his handling of the massive battle, he was also able to deliver one of the most EPIC small scale fights in Middle-earth history! Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Saruman (Christopher Lee) FOR THE F*CKING WIN! That one quick but absolutely electrifying scene of them fending off Sauron’s undead sentries using crazy magic ninja moves made my freaking WEEK! And it was certainly something I didn’t expect from these two elderly characters. No amount yakking is going to help me describe how awesome it was seeing these two kick so much ass, so you’ll just have to see it for yourselves!

That awesome moment when this guy comes out of the shadows!

And, as usual, anything with Legolas is golden! (Orlando Bloom, why you so cool?)

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies 2014 HD Stills Wallpapers
Action ramps up every time these two are on screen.

The CGI is still making it hard to buy some of the fights though and Peter Jackson makes use of a lot in TBOTFA (On the whole The Hobbit series, actually). It can’t be helped I guess, as this might be the best technology can do right now to keep up with Jackson’s insanely creative mind. At the very least, everything, from costumes, to sets, to every other small detail were all visually stunning and engrossing. Watching the movie was a real treat, if nothing else.

Stunning visuals. Heh.

The movie wasn’t necessary. This trilogy wasn’t necessary, actually. But it was still very enjoyable. Kinda like buffets. You don’t need it in your life, but you’re hella glad it happened. Between the non-stop action, the subtle call backs to the LOTR Trilogy, the ambitious world building, all the glitz, glamor and creativity, I'd say this was one fine way to close out the prestigious Middle-earth saga.


PS. (Massive spoiler here) Why’d they have to kill off ALL the dwarves we cared for? All that was left were Generic Dwarf 1 and Generic Dwarf 2 and Generic Dwarf 3…you get the picture. Couldn’t you have left at least ONE of them alive?:(

They HAD names?!?!?!

*First seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles!

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