The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: A Purist's Review

Discussion in 'New Line Cinema's "The Hobbit"' started by Thorin, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Thorin

    Thorin LOTR Purist to the end

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    Well fellow Tolkien forum-ites. It has been a good 13 years since I started my purist's reviews. As I will not be doing the EEs, and unless Jackson comes out with more Tolkien works to butcher, this will be my last movie review. *sigh* :( It seems like yesterday since I started this journey. To all my fellow First Agers and newcomers of this forum. I dedicate my last review to you all. :)

    Thorin

    PS: Need I add that there are *SPOILERS* ?
    _____________________________________________

    THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES - 8/10

    Yes, you saw that rating right all you film adaptation defenders (FADs for the newbies). I can't fully understand why this got the worst critic ratings of all three when it was the most faithful to the source material, but I guess critics don't worry about that sort of thing. Yes, there was much fleshing out and extra additions and filler, but with the lack of narrative from Tolkien on this battle and the deaths of Thorin, Fili and Kili not explained, we can forgive Jackson this. Also out of all 3 movies, this part of the book was the one where the most fleshing out could occur. Of course there were problems, annoyances and things that just went on too long (and if I was being honest, the last 30 mins or so, I might lower that rating to a 6.5-7/10), but overall I enjoyed this movie as an adaptation much more than the first two.

    THE GOOD

    1. Destruction of Laketown - Though it felt a little too rushed, I thought Smaug did his destructive best turning the town into ruin. I'm going to assume that there might be more in the EE.

    2. Tolkien's dialogue used - From Bard and Thorin's parley to Thorin's farewell to Bilbo, I found much of the book's dialogue being used where appropriate (Kili instead of Thorin asking where Bard got the Arkenstone notwithstanding)

    3. Dain and the coming of the Dwarfs - Loved Dain, that sassy bad-ass dwarf. Though the parley between the dwarfs and Bard/Elves wasn't exactly how Tolkien wrote it, for the sake of time and tedium, I can understand compressing this part. Regardless, this played out mostly how I saw it in my mind. Dwarfs and Elves at a stand-off ready to fight when the baddies come down on them

    4. Bilbo's escape from Erebor to talk with Thranduil and Bard - Though there were a few changes (Gandalf being there instead of seeing Bilbo after, for one), I thought this played out well with good Tolkien dialogue happening.

    5. Thorin's farewell to Bilbo - Though it didn't play out as was written and was in a totally different situation from the book, the farewell was heartfelt, used almost all of Tolkien's dialogue and was well delivered by both actors.

    6. References to all things Middle Earth - Gundabad and Angmar, Gondor, Mordor and the one ring's inscription. This movie was chock full of LoTR and HoME references. Most of the average 'Hobbit' viewers would have missed or been confused by the vast majority of it. It was nice to have those throw-ins for Middle Earth fans such as ourselves.

    THE BAD

    1. Beorn - I was sitting there gritting my teeth thinking to myself, 'Please don't cut out Beorn coming to fight, PJ!! Where is Beorn??' Then he comes much to my joy!!.......FOR 5 WHOLE SECONDS!!!!!!! What the hell??? I can only hope that the EE (like DOS before it), will have way more of Beorn and the eagles (who barely got a passing nod as well). So disappointed in this.

    2. Orcs, orcs and more orcs - The battle of.....how many armies, exactly? I counted 4 frankly. Where were the wargs?? Were the 2 enemy armies the orcs led by Azog...and orcs led by Bolg?? I guess the practically non-existent eagles made up the 5th? o_O

    3. Wereworms - What exactly was the idiotic purpose of putting these in?? We get 5 seconds of Beorn but we see these ridiculous 'Tremors' earthworms once and then they disappear. Really?? I'm guessing with the mention of them by Azog, that there will be more of them in the EE.

    4. Too much of Thorin, Kili and Fili's orc battles - This went on way too long and got so convoluted. Time could have been spent elsewhere (like Beorn and the Eagles joining the battle for instance). I know it gave us some closure on the deaths of the dwarfs, but still. Great fighting by Legolas though, I will give him that. :)

    5. Alfrid the idiot - Why did Jackson waste so much time on this fool instead of using the time spent better elsewhere (like more of Beorn and the eagles for example...did I mention that before?). Stupid.


    THE INDIFFERENT

    1. Dol Guldur and the banishment of Sauron - I know that in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, it is mentioned that the White Council banishes Sauron from Dol Guldur so I know why Jackson put this in. However, my understanding was that this occurred AFTER the events of the Hobbit, not during. Galadriel doing the glowing, three voice freakshow happened again. Jackson sure likes to rehash some of his effects.

    2.Continuing roles of Legolas and Tauriel - I just accepted this for what it was during my watching of DOS: EE. I still think the 'She-elf' comments by the orcs are absolutely ridiculous. PJ rehashing his idiocy again...


    So,that is it folks. Overall for the first 80% of the movie, I was quite satisfied with it as an adaptation. The last half hour got muddied and muddled and could have been done differently. I hope that the EE will flesh out some of the problems but I guess I will have to wait.

    Thanks everyone for putting up with my nit-picking weenie ways. I enjoyed the ride! God bless!

    Darrell Corbel
    a.k.a Thorin
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
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  2. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    You're tempting me to go see it. I hated Desolation of Smaug, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to go see the 3rd one.
     

  3. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    I'm glad that you enjoyed it Thorin. I made the wise decision of not re-reading the book in the last few years, so most of the changes didn't irk me too much. In fact I was quite surprised to see the large number of negative reviews.

    Sure the extra love scenes were a bit cringeworthy, and Tauriel's ability to lose her proficiency at killing orcs with ease as soon as she started screaming Fili's name was a bit jarring. And was Orlando Bloom really that wooden an actor in the LotR trilogy?
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Registered User

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    I didn't like the love interest between Tauriel and Kili but can understand it from the point of view of the general audience. I can understand the tweaking of the story for the film's sake but I think PJ overreached on a lot of it.

    I did enjoy the trilogy but I love the book more.
     

  5. Erestor Arcamen

    Erestor Arcamen Archivist Staff Member

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    This is pretty much my Good/bad/indifferent as well. Did the entire elven army get killed off or just disappear? At one point Thranduil told one of his generals to call back his legion and then you see like five more elves and that's it. They all couldn't have been completely destroyed could they?

    The earthworm things were just stupid. I know Tolkien says there are dark, ancient things underground but still. If Azog could control them to dig out those holes for the orc army to come out of, so why couldn't he use them to fight in the battle?

    And what was that windmill thing he was using on the top of the raven hill mountain peak with wings? I thought that was pointless and unclear. How could his army hear him from all the way up there?

    Also, I really hate Tauriel and wish she would have been beheaded or something. Her character was totally pointless, we all knew how that romance was going to end up.

    Was that Bolg that Legolas was fighting towards the end? I couldn't keep track but was wondering why that one orc was so hard to kill unlike all the others.

    Alfrid was just annoying. I don't see why so much time had to be put on him. This was much screen time that could have been used for Beorn and/or the Eagles (both!).

    Oh and one more thing. Sting should have been glowing blue almost the entire time but rarely did it. You'd think that a "great" director like PJ or someone would have caught that with all those orcs around...
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  6. Celebthôl

    Celebthôl Loremaster

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    I'm just gonna mooch onto your thread and post my 2 cents to... And how expensive these 2 cents are!

    *SPOILERS*

    Firstly: Worst hash up ever! I can't believe PJ wasted not only LOTR but the Hobbit too. There was SO much potential, SO much! All that amazing back story from LOTR, such a beautiful set of films followed by a set of comediatic, overly(and poorly) CGI'd and utterly unfaithful to the book heap of garbage films. PJ wasted everything he and the whole team worked for in LOTR, imagine if he had nailed the Hobbit all in the same vein as LOTR, he would have done justice to his LOTR, instead history has been made(or filmed) and it is left wanting. There will never be a LOTR made to the same degree again with all the actors in place for a follow on film, at least not in our life times and certainly not with such an amazing cast! A cast that should have been brought forward to the Hobbit with a seamless transition. Instead we end up with the recurring actors being very poorly portrayed due to poor directorship.

    I came away from this train wreck feeling slightly sick to be honest. I agree Thorin, there were lines from the book, and these were the only times i felt even remotely connected to this film...even gave me chills(mostly remember the Hobbit from the BBC audio book). It's kinda like PJ wanted to make it funny but dark as well as make the battle amazing while making a film palatable for anyone. He fails completely at every turn!

    I can forgive 3 films - who doesn't like even more Tolkien world films? I can forgive all the extra lore and back stories added in i.e. Dul Guldur and much of the dialogue during this scene!
    What I can't forgive are utterly made up crappy characters, breaking rather extremely from Tolkien lore or a lack of closure for many lose ends in the books.

    The bad:
    Azog alive still gets me every time...
    Giant rock eating wyrms...
    Shooting a scud missile sized arrow off your sons shoulder is just bad parenting. AND they made him king...or did they?? We shall never know from this retelling...
    Only 5 seconds of Beorn... ridiculous.
    "The eagles! The eagles are coming" was more of an afterthought.
    The charge of the goat brigade which made naff all sense... And what sort of uncle/king puts BOTH nephews/heirs to the thrown as well as himself at risk, which inevitably ended Thorins family line.
    Very very bad CGI.

    The badder:
    Some dirty made up she-elf whos name i refuse to say and whos memory must be burned out of our minds now or the universe must surely collapse!
    Dirty love triangle between said she-elf Legolas and a ...Dwarve!? Based on one conversation about a rock his mother gave him... No no no no NO!!! This makes a mockery of "Elves and Dwarves dislike each other quite a lot to the point or war mistrust and hate" add to this the mockery of Legolas and Gimlis relationship which was meant to be special and one of a kind.
    Legolas left Thranduil to go and live with Aragorn? Based on his love for a character who insults Thranduil and who never actually existed in the books... More PJ made up rubbish!
    No closure on pretty much anything! No Emeralds of Girrion given back to Thranduil, no gold to the lake men? No funeral for Kili, Fili, Thorin?? No crowning for Dain or Bard or even a mention of them becoming kings...(maybe Dain in passing). No journey home via Beorns or Rivendell. No 1 chest of gold 1 of silver. No nothing! One minute Bilbo is crying over Thorin within 5 minutes the films over. (Did like the end though, it was the closest to LOTR than all 81/2 hours of the rest of the films).

    The good:
    Steven Fry, I got the feeling he knew what the comedy level of the films should have been it is more of a child's book that LOTR, his weird pet who loved gold was like a weak imitation of Wormtongue or something.
    Gandalf as always, and Bilbo, Thorin, Balin, Bard, Thranduil and of course Legolas, Elrond, Saruman and Galadriel although I agree on the 3 voice over tone thing!

    The Gooder:
    It finally finished and it wasn't 3 hours long! Maybe if it was PJ could have put in the other half of the book he left out?

    In conclusion I'd give it a 4/10, based as a film all books aside it was ok, but thats it. Don't expect to be dazzled like with epic cavalry charges AKA Theoden or anything darker than a few Dwarves getting done in. And certainly don't expect it to be like the book. It was a waste of a film coming from a good base in LOTR with good recurring characters. A total shame. 10 years in the waiting and we get garbage. Don't even get me started on those rediculous trolls and the goblins from the first film. Felt 100 worlds away from LOTR Middle Earth! Wait for TV release and even then probably avoid...

    Sorry for the negativity peeps!

    Thôl.
     
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  7. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    So it has happened: the Periaur has transformed into a NPW. You used to be cool, man.
    ;)
     
  8. Ásta

    Ásta Registered User

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    Yes, there was much that was greatly wrong with it, but, I did overall enjoy it. I have seen it three times. The thing that made me the madest was that Thorin, Filing, and Kili did not die in the right ways.
     
  9. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    I was just re-watching this movie, and in the scene where Dain is about to throw down with the Elves and Laketown civilians, he full on spurts out a curse word!

    CURSE WORDS DON'T EXIST IN MIDDLE-EARTH. :mad::mad::mad:

    Really, PJ? :confused::eek::eek::eek:o_O
    All in all, I agree with the OP.

    I just wish Tauriel never existed in the first place, a total SJW dream.


    CL
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  10. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    I have cast these hobbit films into the abyss where they belong. I can happily say I did not pay to see any of them, having managed to get into pre-release screenings. They won't get a ¢ out of me. I paid more than enough seeing Fellowship a dozen times in a theatre, and Two Tower and return of the King a few times each. I did get the EE-DVDs of these first three movies, but they pretty much collect dust.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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