The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Film Review, Part 3

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Film Review, Part 3

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

So today I want to talk about the third Hobbit film and what didn’t need to be there—that either unnecessarily padded the film, or outright detracted from it.

Obviously, spoiler alert.

The first, big, glaring, disgusting, gross, thing is Albert, the assistant to the Master, who had WAAAY too much screen time in this film and none of it to any benefit benefit.

See in the books, the Master survives the destruction of Lake-town and then tries to undermine Bard, who begins to come into his own as a leader of men.

Though the encounter is brief, it’s interesting because the Master is trying to depose Bard from his de facto throne. The Master is an actual threat and an antagonist, and he makes Bard a better character.

But in the film, the Master dies while trying to escape from Lake-town, and then Albert, becomes Bard’s lackey, sucking up to Bard while simultaneously trying to elevate his own position.

Aside from the fact that his villainy is almost cartoonishly overdone, this removes an ACTUAL and TANGIBLE threat to Bard, and replaces it with slapstick comedy—except the comedy is rarely funny, and more often eye-rolling.

This move surprised me, because in the Lord of the Rings films, Peter Jackson went in the other direction in the Two Towers with his treatment of Faramir.

In the books Faramir is provides very little threat whatsoever, but Peter realized they couldn’t have him generate no conflict or tension in the films, because then what was the point?

Whereas here, Pete has removed a character who provided conflict and tension and replaced him with a character who didn’t, who instead completely took us out of being invested in emotional scenes.

I mean, filling his bra with gold coins? Come on.

Aside from Albert, the biggest and seemingly most anti-canon part of the film came from Legolas and Tauriel who traveled to the stronghold of Gundabad, where they discover Bolg raising a second army of goblins.

Now, clearly this was done partially to establish what the fifth army was, since in the book the Wargs were their own army, but only because they were actual people who could talk.

Now personally, I would have liked to see that, as well as have the talking thrush and the ravens, even if it created a slight inconsistency with Lord of the Rings where none of those animals can speak.

Because the inconsistency is in the books, and PLUS, you’ve already got talking trolls in The Hobbit where you never had that in Lord of the Rings.

But okay, putting that aside, the Tauriel and Legolas journey.

The main problem I have with that portion of the film is that it seems relatively pointless. I mean, they go there to investigate a rumor, find out there’s more goblins coming, and then come back to warn the others.

This is what motivates Bilbo to go after Thor and warn him the goblins are coming—but then that doesn’t change anything, because Thorin, Fili and Kili still die, so, why?

If we have to have Thor fighting Azog on top of a mountain, with only three dwarves from his company of thirteen for some reason, and Bilbo just HAS to get up there and warn him about something, that could have been handled any number of ways.

And would have given us the opportunity to have a DIFFERENT Legolas/Tauriel adventure that would have been much more epic.

Like when they find out Tauriel is banished, they both could have gone to confront Thranduil, giving us more character interaction between these three important elves: the king, the rebel, and the prince caught somewhere in between them.

Thranduil could have forced Legolas to choose between duty and his king, and his love for Tauriel, and Legolas, believing himself to be his father’s son, could have gone with duty and joined Thranduil in exiling Tauriel.

Tauriel, stricken, could have then rejoined Kili, because there’s no reason not to now, and fought by his side during the battle, and then witnessed his death at the hands of Bolg.

Then Legolas, who’s been trying to kill Bolg for the last two movies, is robbed of his victory as Tauriel just goes super-saiyan and tears Bolg apart.

And in his wonder, Legolas can realize that Tauriel’s love is the true source of her strength.

He renounces his father’s icy ruthlessness and says that if Thranduil wants to banish Tauriel, he’ll have to banish Legolas as well (which we already had in the film, but without all the back story).

Thranduil is so moved by this that he pardons Tauriel and gives Legolas the same speech he already gave him at the end of the film about his mother.

Same character ending, but the journey there makes the payoff that much better.

Of course this is all armchair directing, and it’s easier to say what I would have done than to actually do it in the first place, but yeah.

There’s one more thing we’ve got to talk about, which is Thorin’s final battle with Azog and his death…but it’ll have to be in another video.

Okay, so clearly I’m just making vlogs about The Hobbit until I’m done talking about it. So let’s all just get used to that. Okay? Okay.

Thanks for watching, Rebels, don’t forget to subscribe, check out the links to my books in the description, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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