The Movie so Nice, I Saw it Twice: A Review of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

So, you should probably know by now that I’m a huge nerd.  I love the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  My favorite of his is The Silmarillion.  Love that book.  The first long chapter book that I ever remember my mother reading to me  was The Hobbit.  As such, this story has a special place in my heart. When The Lord of the Rings movies came out I was so excited.  My friends and I went to go see every one of them.  I was a bit sad when I found out that, at the time, they weren’t making a movie out of The Hobbit.  In 2012 they released The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I was really excited that a whopping nine years after the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that I was gleefully able to share my love for this awesome story with two of my little nieces.  It has become a tradition of ours to go see a movie a few days to a week before Christmas so that their parents can wrap presents.  They loved it movies.  Well, on New Year’s Eve I was delighted to go see the last movie of The Hobbit trilogy again.  It was awesome.  If you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want it to be spoiled, you may not want to continue reading where the font changes from the teal to purple..  I loved this movie and since it is the last movie in the series, I had to give it a review.  So, fair warning, SPOILERS for “Battle of the Five Armies” lie ahead in this review in purple! I am assuming that by now ya’ll have seen the first two movies.

Some people that are also fans of Tolkien’s work were super hacked off when it was announced that Peter Jackson was going to break The Hobbit up to make it into a trilogy like The Lord of the Rings is.  What some people seem to forget is that Tolkien originally wrote The Lord of the Rings as a single novel.  His publishers told him it needed to be broken up into three books.  He begrudgingly agreed to this.  Making The Hobbit into a trilogy didn’t particularly bother me.  In fact, now that I have seen the whole trilogy of the movies based on it, I think that it wouldn’t have been as good if it were to have been only one movie.  There is so much detail in that story that it would have lost a lot of what makes it so memorable had Peter Jackson not broken it up.  I was also not too concerned about it since he did such an amazing job on his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.  I wasn’t disappointed in this adaptation.  Rather, I actually found myself a bit disappointed that he didn’t The Lord of the Rings into at least two movies for each books since Tolkien’s novels have two “book” in each one.  That would have been fantastic.  Although, in all fairness to Peter Jackson, he did release the extended editions of those movies that were two discs each.  So, kind of the same and it was great.

When summarizing The Hobbit, people tend to forget that anything actually happens after  Smaug is dealt with.  Oh, honey, the really exciting battle takes place after that.  Peter Jackson did a great thing with how he ended the The Desolation of Smaug with it leaving that plot point unresolved.  It made those that stupidly forget about the actual ending of the book come back and watch the next movie for the resolution of story.  Good movie Peter Jackson!  I enjoy watching war movies and I love Tolkien.  The Battle of the Five Armies was basically a Tolkien war movie and it was beautiful in every way that a high fantasy war movie should be.  The graphics were pretty much flawless.  Of course, I really didn’t expect anything else from Peter Jackson.  The only thing in terms of graphics that sort of bothered me was the size of the eagles.  They are described as being a heck of a lot bigger in the books.  That being said, the graphics are amazing.  The 3-D was fantastic as well.  I have only had the opportunity to see it in 3-D, but I wouldn’t recommend it any other way.  The youngest of my nieces that was with me when I first saw the movie kept trying to grab things and all four of us ducked when Smaug flew at the screen.  The sound and the music made it even better.  It was seriously this was the best movie I’ve seen all year.  I think you all know by now how I feel about the beautiful song that was used in the ending credits of the film.  If not click here.

Normally, I am one of those people that does get a a bit miffed when they add in story points and characters that aren’t even mentioned in the story.  Peter Jackson did such a good job at integrating these that I wasn’t bothered by it at all and I almost cried about the ending of the Tauriel and Kíli romance story had it’s tragic ending even though I knew Kíli was going to die.  I really wasn’t even sure that I was going to like Tauriel, but I turned out to really like her.  Also, I would like those that I heard complaining about Legolas being in the movie to get over it.  Think about it, Legolas is the son of Thranduil.  It would be really be odd if he wasn’t there.  He didn’t just fall from one of the trees in Mirkwood.  I didn’t mind him being included at all.  No, not because I adore Orlando Bloom.  Probably the things that I was most excited about was the inclusion of Dol Guldur and Angmar.  Unless you have read Tolkien’s stories outside of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings you probably wouldn’t have much of any idea as to the significance of those two places.  Even though the places are only mentioned in passing in the two stories, they are incredibly important in the whole of Tolkien’s mythos.  I love that these were expanded on in this adaptation.  I also didn’t mind  the expansion of Azog in the series of films.  That made for an interesting twist.  Also, can’t explain how excited I was that Radagast’s role was also expanded.  That has nothing to do with Sylvester McCoy being the actor that plays him…Okay, maybe it does a little.  What can I say?  I love seeing the Doctor in other things…I won’t even continue with that thought.  I also really love Christopher Lee’s inclusion.  He was the only member of the cast that has ever met Tolkien and that makes me exceptionally glad that they let him be in more of the movies.

I was super excited about the casting when the first movie came out.  As I mentioned above, I was pretty excited that Orlando Bloom, Sylvester McCoy, and Christopher Lee were in the movies.  Ned the Piemaker though!  Oh my gosh!  Lee Pace was Thranduil!  I’m probably way more proud of my fellow Oklahoman than probably necessary, but he really does make the perfect Thranduil.  I have loved him since I watched The Fall.  Haven’t heard of that amazing movie?  Go watch it!  You may also know Lee Pace from the show Pushing Daisies that aired between 2007 and 2009.  Oklahomans for the win!  Benedict Cumberbatch is also in the movie.  We actually get to see the Necromancer in this movie!  Holy calamari was I excited about that.  My reason for that is that in the books, Sauron is still alive.  He isn’t some disembodied entity.  He is also still missing his finger on “the black hand”.  I was glad to see that he had a physical form of sorts in this film.   know everyone get so excited about Richard Armitage and how hot they think he is.  I guess I am just over that seeing as how I have been watching him since he was in BBC’s North & South.  Also, he was in The Vicar of Dibley which is one of my favorite Brit-coms.  *shrugs* Guess I missed all the hype.  Dang it.  Stephen Fry makes me laugh in pretty much everything he is in and he makes the character of the Master of Laketown a jerk in an amusing way.  Honestly, I haven’t really liked anything else Evangeline Lilly has been in, but she was great in this.  Before anyone brings up Lost, I won’t even touch how much that show hacked me off.  I did like Kingdom Hospital, but she had such a small role I don’t really count it.  Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, and Hugo Weaving were just as perfect as I knew they would be.  Then we have Martin Freeman.  Oh Martin you silly man.  I really enjoy his acting and I honestly can’t imagine else as a young Bilbo.  Martin Free makes the perfect Bilbo.  He really is a wonderfully versatile actor.  The ending with Ian Holm was perfect.  That’s all I’m gonna say about the ending because that really isn’t a spoiler since, if you have paid attention, Peter Jackson sort of set this trilogy up as a framed story.

I would recommend this movie and the trilogy as a whole to anyone and everyone.  If you haven’t seen the first two in the series, go watch them and then go see it.  It is amazing and fun.  Go watch it.  See it in 3-D if you can.  It is totally worth the extra money!  What are you waiting for?  Also, read the books.  All of the Tolkien books, since these movies draw information from the other books of his.  Do it!  Do it now!

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