Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
So yesterday I gave you my tearful good-bye to The Hobbit films and Middle-earth films in general, but today let’s get happier and talk about the movie itself.
I mean obviously I’m a huuuge Tolkien geek, so it’s difficult for me to judge any of the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit films objectively, but I’m gonna give it my best shot.
First of all, is the third movie GOOD? Yes. Yes, it’s very good.
Is it perfect? No, and let’s talk about why.
First of all, we gotta talk about the battle. You know, the battle that’s in the film title. The Battle of the Five Armies.
Was it awesome? Yes. Were there problems? Eeeyeah.
First of all, the battle seems to start kind of haphazardly. There’s no epic build-up like there was before the battle of Helm’s Deep or the Battle of the Pelennor fields, or even the Battle of the Black Gate.
In the book, the Battle of the Five Armies is this intense, epic buildup of an almost-war between the Dwarves, Men and Elves, when Gandalf steps in and tells them all what idiots they’re being, just before the Goblins and Wargs come swarming over the hills.
And while that technically happened in the film, the buildup just left me feeling wanting, so that when the Battle actually started, I was sort of like…oh, I guess they’re fighting now. Huh.
You know there’s no moment to pause before everything starts, when two great generals stare at each other across an open field and lock eyes and you in the audience just go, “Oh, spit, things are about to go DOWN.”
There’s also some logistical problems, where I didn’t see how the armies on the battlefield could have moved on the battlefield the way they did.
Like, without spoilers, there’s a point where the goblins are facing the humans, and then the goblins TURN AROUND to go for a specific objective, and the humans chase after them, and then a few minutes and some clever editing later, the humans are IN the objective, defending it from the goblins.
Kind of physically impossible.
That being said, the fighting is amazing, epic and awesome.
Two words that won’t be a spoiler but will be awesome for anyone who’s seen it: Elf jump. Dude…that elf jump, doe.
Billy Connolly appears in this film as Thorin’s cousin Thrain, and he’s totally epic in the battle. Though I thought his role was a little downplayed for its potential.
That’s one thing I would have been fine with them spending a little MORE time on after trimming time somewhere else.
Next, let’s talk about bloat. A lot of people have said that The Hobbit films are bloated with scenes and characters that aren’t in the books, and are much longer than they need to be.
But of course we know that almost all the extra scenes and characters are taken from Tolkien’s other writings on Middle-earth and DID happen while The Hobbit was taking place, so it makes sense to include them.
For example the scenes at Dol Goldur where the White Council drives the Necromancer out of Mirkwood—that’s what the Gandalf WAS doing when he disappeared in The Hobbit book, and it would be a HUGE omission not to show us that.
That being said, there are times when the films seems to run unnecessarily long or focuses too hard on something I personally care less about.
And while that was the case in the third film as well, I found it to be less pronounced than in the first two films.
This is probably because so much character development occurred in the first two films that the third film was really just wrapping a lot of stuff up, with very little extra time spent on any frivolous activities like were present in the first two.
How about the CG aspect? Well, all the Hobbit films are big greenscreen extravaganzas, much more so than the Lord of the Rings films, and unfortunately this one was no exception.
It still looks like it’s about 80% on greenscreen or with greenscreen elements, and I did find that distracting while viewing—even though I didn’t see it in high frame rate, which I really dislike.
Now we have to talk about the film compared to the book and whatnot, but that’s going to have to wait for the next video.
Yes, sorry Rebels, this review has to come in TWO parts because I just can’t cover the whole film in one four-minute video. So stay tuned for the review part two.
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