Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies

By | December 14, 2014


If you know me personally or have been hanging around my blog for a while then you’d know that I’m a crazed LOTR and Hobbit fan and was looking so much towards the third and final movie of the Hobbit trilogy, and also the last Peter Jackson movie about Middle Earth. I’ve even set up a counter, an alarm reminder, and basically waiting, rather impatiently, for the movie to pick up where DOS have left off. 

Now I’m no movie critic, nor does my opinion offer or mean much in our big vast real and virtual world, but I’m a fan and a person who was really anticipating something beautiful and majestic and instead was left disappointed and, if I may be a bit of dramatic here, quite heartbroken at how a beautiful story was portrayed in the end. I’ve never written a review with spoilers before, but I need to remind myself why I was disappointed and perhaps find someone who agrees or disagrees with my point of view. Now before the spoilers start I conclude my opinion in this next sentence: the movie was quite the disappointment. Yes it was. I’ve expected much better, and I have LOTR Return of the King to compare it with, and unfortunately this last and rather rushed third Hobbit movie didn’t live up to ROTK.

Now here come the spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie yet and do not like spoilers then stop reading right here. Norilsk Spoilers alert, here they come…

The movie was off to a great start, the Smaug and Bard fight and showdown I had no problems with. Its only after the dust have settled and the people of Lake Town were trying to make sense of the disaster that have befallen them that the movie goes south. First off, we see the four dwarves who remained in Lake Town rushing off to leave. No one offered to stay, help out with the wounded, or at least ask the man who opened his doors to them when Kili was sick if he needed anything or bid him farewell before they simply set sail to the mountain.

Then suddenly they do stop, just so Kili would have a little love scene with Tauriel while surrounded by distraught Lake Towners and wounded people in dire need of help. Only, none of the four dwarves react to his  behaviour, which is weird considering how dwarves and elves dislike each other. All he got was an annoyed glance by Fili, not even an exchange of words between the two regarding the matter. I would have loved seeing Thorin get word of this relationship, I would have enjoyed the reaction, but it doesn’t matter apparently. The four dwarves also do not acknowledge any kind of emotion while on their way to the mountain, there is barely any dialogue, you’d think they would discuss their company being dead and that Fili is now actually their king now that Smaug is gone, but there is nothing but silence.

Then there is plenty of Tauriel, and Legolas, and more Legolas, and more and more Legolas. I actually think there was more Legolas on the screen than Bilbo, the Hobbit whose story it is? Legolas doesn’t even appear in the Hobbit, I wonder why there was this sharp shift in the story from the dwarves to the elves, actually the movie feels dominated by the elves, but this shift is one aspect of my disappointment. Another character who got too much unnecessary screen time? Alfred! Enough with Alfred already! I do hope he doesn’t appear in the EE edition, he is somewhat funny but not that funny! I’d rather he was replaced by Smeagol!

Now we head to the death scenes. In the book the story goes that “Fili and Kili” die in battle defending their uncle Thorin. It doesn’t say that Fili, who was indeed important to Tolekin and if you read The History of the Hobbit you’d know he could have had an even bigger appearance in the story, is captured and then executed helplessly in front of his uncle who spares a few gasps then screams “Kili” at the top of his lungs in fear for his other nephew. In return of the king, Faramir the least favourite son of his father gets more or a reaction over his injury and presumed death and funeral from his father than what poor Fili got from Thorin! I’m just glad there wasn’t a “Good Riddance” thought bubble floating around the scene when Fili was gone and the road was all clear for Kili to shine and fight alongside Thorin.

Only Kili doesn’t fight alongside Thorin, he does get to fight a bit but that brings us to the horrible Kili death scene, rushing to avenge his brother then dying defending Tauriel instead of his uncle while Thorin doesn’t even know what happened to him. The scene of Tauriel mourning Kili was just cheesy, perhaps teenagers would relate to it but I only rolled my eyes and almost shut them in disgust as Tauriel kissed Kilis dead corpse smack on the lips before whining that she wanted to bury him. I might have heard it wrong but it sounded to me like “I want to bury him” and I’m not entirely sure what to think about that. Of course the fallen heir of Durin must be buried? And? Perhaps its an Elf thing? Not to bury the dead? I’m not sure what to make of that but I only wish she didn’t exist in the first place. If she was there as a “strong female figure” I see no reason why a “strong female figure” in the story must be involved in a romantic relationship. Can’t there be a female figure who didn’t serve as someone’s love interest, in this case two, and ruin the cute brotherly relationship in favour of developing her very own?

Needless to say I didn’t cry at either death scene, something I didn’t expect given that I gasped and cried when I read the single line announcing their fate when I read the book. I loved Fili and Kili then, I loved them going “At your Service” in the first movie. I loved them refusing not to be separated and looking utterly lost when they did. I didn’t like the fact that the only brotherly exchange between the two in BO5A was a rough “I can walk” by Kili towards his brother and a swift pat from Fili to Kili in the end before they part ways. Surely there could have been something more? The movie is twenty minutes shorter than the other Hobbit movies, can’t there have been a nice one minute long scene of Fili and Kili for old times sake?

None of the other dwarves get to say much btw, except for Balin and Dwalin and they themselves say very little. I did however cry at Thorin’s death scene but I expected it to be a tad more emotional. I did have a year of mental preparation to do and the scene that I saw almost lived up to it.

However, the movie needs more… closure! There was no funeral scene, I don’t understand how there is no funeral scene where Thorin and his heirs are laid to rest and the fate of the Arkenstone is explained! I don’t understand how it doesn’t precisely show that the “war” was indeed over and who won. Beorn, again an important figure in the Hobbit especially at battle, barely made an appearance in the movie! We don’t also get to see Dain become king under the mountain, nor do we know what becomes of Bard and his people or whether or not Thranduil retrieves the jewels that made him march upon Erebor in the first place. Even the goodbye scene between Bilbo and the dwarves wasn’t that much. Then again I might be mistaken about that one because there was a noisy teenager in the audience who kept talking loudly after Throin’s death and other members of the audience were yelling at her to shut up but she wouldn’t so I was a bit distracted.

I thought, I hoped, and I was looking forwards to a third and last Hobbit movie that matches the level of the Return of the King. Awesome battle, heartfelt farewells to the fallen, clear conclusions, and an even more tear-jerking departing scene. I still cry just remembering Sam realising how Frodo was leaving with Gandalf and Bilbo! The only thing that lived up to my expectations in this movie where the Smaug attack and the Battle of the Five Armies itself, at least for most of it anyway.

And Bily Boyd’s song? Again, I don’t get why everyone is raving about it. If I’m to compare it to the song of the lonely mountain or I see fire, then I’m sorry to say I cannot bring myself to make it midway through the song, it actually puts me to sleep. I should have taken that song as a sign for what the movie would turn out to be. They say there are about 30 minutes of deleted/extended scenes that are left for the DVD but I’m not going to hold my breath, I have a nagging feeling that 29 out of those 30 minutes are hijacked by one or more of the elves.

In a nutshell, Hobbit BO5A is my least favourite of all the Middle Earth movies. Sadly.

Oh you made it here? Good good, I suppose you are interested in what I was thinking of the movie and I bet you’ve had a few thoughts of your own as well. Please, do share! Did you like the movie? Did it live up to your expectations or did you leave the movie as disappointed as myself? How so?

6 Responses to “Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies”

  1. Alzainah says:

    I too left disappointed and dissatisfied, my eye rolling was at Legolas’s matrix climb up the falling stones.. I didn’t relate to the Tauriel storyline, it took away from the movie. There was too little hobbit coziness. The battle scenes were great but I wish there was less and more character focus. The supposed comic relief Alfred didn’t do it for me at all.

    It’s my least favorite as well when compared with the rest. I feel sad that this is the way it ends, and I hope one day they can get over the financial disputes and create more middle earth magic.

    • danderma says:

      True true I actually laughed at that Matrix climb! There wasn’t any need for Alfred’s contribution for comic relief, Legolas was more than enough!
      Tauriel storyline did indeed ruin the movie in the end and I don’t get why Alfred got so much screen time that could have spent with the dwarves in Erebor! They finally reclaim their home yet we barely see more footage of them enjoying it! I actually am wishing now that someone in the future gets to remake the Hobbit again just so it lives up to LOTR! Its good to know I’m not alone in this :)

  2. Fred says:

    Again, very disappointed in PJ’s work. People swear he followed the books closely. Anybody who has read the books know this is not true. No discussion of how the treasure was split, what Bilbo actually got and what he gave to the people of Lake Town. No mention of Thorin being buried with the Arkenstone. What is sad is Peter Jackson actually stuck with his, ho hum hobbits never change ending. Remember the shire burning in the book? Peter Jackson doesn’t.

    • danderma says:

      I’m very disappointed indeed. Regardless of all the changes he made to the story, you’d think whatever story he was telling would at least get a proper closure, i.e. the fate of the Arkenstone and the jewels the elven king had gone to war for in the first place! At least!

  3. Jacqui says:

    I agree this one was the poorest of them all, especially since we had a lot of focus on Thorin’s transition into something greedy and evil. When I walked in and saw the beginning of the movie I was like woah, I feel like I should walk out the minute Smaug was killed but then more happened. It felt a bit too chopped up for my taste. There was a lot of focus on things that shouldn’t have been focused on and less on things that needed expanding. I don’t know but something didn’t feel right about the movie overall. I am glad that we got a chance to wrap up the story but for some reason I felt I was cheated out of a great ending to a fabulous trilogy!

    • danderma says:

      It all went down hill after Smaug’s part was over! And just because there is an Extended Edition DVD coming up doesn’t mean this movie must be represented in that chopped way. Exactly how I felt and still feel, like I was cheated out of a great ending! At the Twilight-ish Tauriel mourning Kili scene I actually rolled my eyes and was this close to throwing my bag of popcorn at the screen, only it was empty and that would be littering!