Of course I’ve watched the last Hobbit movie, and of course I have opinions. ;)
WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AND NERDINESS AHEAD!
The actual battle
If it’s one thing Peter Jackson does well it’s when the camera sweeps over the battlefield and manages to capture the massive scale of the destruction. It’s thrilling to watch.
What’s not so thrilling though is the one-on-one duels.
Just like in the previous Hobbit movies we have these looong drawn-out scenes that could’ve easily been cut in half.
The final clash of Thorin and Azog is about 10 minutes too long, by the end I was like “ugh, just kill each other already”. Same with Bolg vs. Kili, Tauriel, AND Legolas. (That’s one epic orc by the way.)
One thing I especially appreciated was seeing the contrast between the different races.
The orcs being dark and gritty and mean-looking vs. men as a disorganized rabble of dirty brown rags and mismatched armour, the dwarves looking tough in heavy plate while wielding big hammers and axes, and the elves disciplined and graceful with golden armour and elegant sleek weapons.
It was very well done!
Oh, sorry. I just vomited. There’s one thing I can’t get over, and that is their ridiculous love story.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tauriel. I don’t care that she wasn’t in the book; The Hobbit is a huge sausage-fest and I think it’s a nice move to add some female presence. She’s strong and capable and has a developed moral sense.
As a captain of the guard, it’s her job to save lives and keep the Woodland Realm safe, and her conscience doesn’t end at the border. When Thranduil says the spiders and orcs are none of their business as long as they keep out of their lands she questions him. “Are we not part of the world?” she asks, showing that her sense of duty is far bigger than the little elven kingdom.
My point is she’s cool enough as it is and doesn’t need some silly love story to justify her.
She could still follow the orcs to Laketown, she could still be in the battle beneath the Mountain, and she could still try to save the dwarf lord and his companions. Not because she “loves” one of them, but because she’s just a really brave and compassionate elf who realizes that Thranduil is wrong and she wants to try and save as many people as possible despite his wishes.
It feels like the love story diminishes her, and I hate it.
And Kili’s death is tragic enough without her sobbing over his corpse. That whole scene with Thranduil was so beyond cringe-worthy I could barely watch.
Galadriel vs. Sauron
My favourite part of the whole movie was probably when she comes to save Gandalf from his cage in Dol Gûldur. The magic in Tolkien’s world is very subtle and very rarely used at all, so it’s striking when someone let their powers show.
How she fired that bolt of light and then carried Gandalf away was so badass I couldn’t stop grinning! And then at the end, when she gets up to face Sauron… I’m still not over it. My queen! <3 It was fun watching Galadriel, Elrond, and the wizards being BAMFs since we usually only see them standing around being wise and noble in pretty clothes. ;)
The lack of resolution
What exactly happened after the battle?
What became of the men of Dale? Did the elf king get his jewels? Did any of the dwarves get the Arkenstone? Is it peace between everyone now or are the dwarves and elves still holding grudges against each other? How will the treasure be shared?
I still remember that in the book peace was settled between all races (except the orcs of course).
The Arkenstone was buried with Thorin, and Daín became King Under the Mountain. Thranduil got his precious gems, and Bard eventually became King of Dale.
But… they didn’t show any of that in the movie.
The battle ended and suddenly Bilbo is back home, which was weird. I can imagine people who haven’t read or remember the book are left with a lot of questions.
Let’s hope the extended edition brings some clarity.
Are the Hobbit movies as good as The Lord of the Rings?
Honestly, I think I have to say no.
LOTR was a very dark story, and exceptionally well crafted. Even if it’s a fantasy full of magical beings it never becomes childish. Even the maddest scenes (Legolas’s shield-surfing comes to mind) are handled with care and respect.
The Hobbit on the other hand ventures dangerously close to being a standard Hollywood adventure. The story is a lot funnier, with more supernatural stunts and more exaggerations, and it makes me take them less seriously. Everything is still beautiful and epic and everything, but it’s too much of… well, everything.
I kinda understand Peter Jackson though. I imagine he wanted The Hobbit to match LOTR as much as possible, while still trying to keep some of that “whimsy children’s story” feeling of the book. Because The Hobbit is a very different type of story compared to LOTR.
Besides, who am I kidding? I could never dislike The Hobbit.
I don’t mind that they don’t follow the book, and I don’t even care that they are somewhat lesser than LOTR. They’re still very good movies. Personally, I’m just glad to have a few more hours in my favourite fictional universe.
Most of all I’m sad it’s over.
*Definitely not crying*