Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five B*******s
Kiki on 08/30/2015 updated on 08/31/2015
Should preface this by saying there will be swearing. Right, okay. This film...is not good. I say this as a massive fan of the LOTR trilogy. Basically, I really really wanted this to be good. Ugh, and it just...isn't!
I should preface this by saying there will be swearing. Right, okay. This film...is not good. I say this as a massive fan of the LOTR trilogy. Basically, I really really wanted this to be good. Ugh, and it just...isn't!
If you take it as a continuation of the Hobbit trilogy, it's bad. Smaug gets taken out about 7 minutes in (albeit by Bard who is - hell yeah! - the saving grace of this film). Smaug, who was, you know, basically the best thing about the second film. Right, okay, I've read the book, I knew it was coming. Sure, lets move on. Thorin's gold sickness just rolls on and on and on until you want to smack both him and his friends like 'WTF?! How have you not realised he's/you're going crazy yet?! You are the worst friends/'king' ever!'. This finally (finally!) breaks so close to the main battle that you basically don't even care anymore (although the girl next to me in the cinema audibly went 'finally!' at that point) because hello, priorities. People are dying, yeah? So Kili, it's really great that you waited for Thorin to break himself out of his gold sickness before you decided to bitch him out about being such a shit king. Really, slow clap for Kili everyone.
Speaking of Kili, this whole romance with Tauriel, I just...who demanded this be added in? I mean really. They have six lines of dialogue in conversation while he is her PRISONER, he gives her a remembrance stone, and suddenly they're in love? Come the fuck on, Bridget. Why did this need to be added? For female viewers? As a female viewer, I would like to say bite me, douchebags. That was the weakest shit I've seen in ages, so much so, that even her sobbing over his dead body (oh yeah, spoiler?) did not move me at all. Bilbo by Thorin's body (lots of people die, alright?) got to me more, and don't even get me started on how out of left field that relationship was in this film. That level of friendship was not built naturally. Romance on its own doesn't diminish a female character, but complete and utter character change? Yeah, that'll do it. Tauriel, who in the previous film was shown to be fighting side by side with Legolas, every bit his sparring equal, and was basically his go-to woman when he wanted to do something, suddenly gets damselled? Oh, screw you, Jackson. Didn't you add a female character because you didn't want the film to be such a sausage-fest? Oh no, it was just so you could add her into a (STUPID NOT IN THE BOOK) love triangle. Right, that makes much more sense.
If you don't take it as a continuation of the story, and as a standalone feature (as all films should aim to do to some degree, surely?), its downright terrible. Tauriel bitching at Thranduil when Thranduil makes the very valid point of saying, uh, maybe we shouldn't die for these dwarves who are acting like arseholes. Maybe we should go back to Mirkwood and deal with the massive infestation of giant spiders because, uh, we have our own problems? STFU, Tauriel. Tauriel as a whole in this film is incredibly problematic. If we're taking this as a standalone film, I suppose I technically wouldn't know about her previous badassery, but in that case, why is she there?! She is so incredibly useless in this film, I cannot emphasise it enough. I am not entirely opposed to non-book character/plot developments - because Galadriel wrecking the hell out of those shades of the Nine was awesome! and I think Christopher Lee, 92 years of age, did most of his own fighting in that scene - but nothing about her is necessary, to the plot or otherwise.
Which leads me to my other problematic, unnecessary, non-book insertion into this film - Azog the Defiler. Which....ugh, is another exhausting point. Why does he hate Thorin again? I'm sure it was mentioned at some point. These films are so dense, and without enough spark to make them come truly alive, that I've all but forgotten at this point, and as he's sort of the main antagonist (and played by the wonderful-in-everything-else-I've-seen-him-in Manu Bennett), shouldn't we sort of feel something when we see him other than vague annoyance? Ugh, its Azog again. What does he even want? Who fecking knows, man, who. Fecking. Knows.
Ugh, the inconsistencies. That bullshit jump from a prone position THROUGH THE ICE to standing again? Sod off, Azog. Where the hell did those mountain goats come from the second they are needed to run up to aforementioned icy battleground? Legolas using falling masonry to propel himself upwards? I barely listened at GSCE and even I understand the bad science there. If you've got giant fucking earthworms at your disposal, why on earth would you be okay with them dropping you off just OUTSIDE the mountain you want to get into? Surely the dwarves could have easily bought peace with the elves by going, ugh, Smaug, really effed up our treasure room - as soon as we find those gems, they are yours, Thrandy. Legolas running out of arrows? Surely not! (Okay, that one made me smile.) Wouldn't Strider be about nine years old at the end of this film? In the books, Beorn (oh yeah, right, that guy who has absolutely no attention paid to him in the film) kills Bolg (orc commander), thus turning the tide of battle. In the film, Bolg is hiding out on icy battleground #1 so why on earth would his death demoralise anyone? The list just goes on.....
I suppose the main thing that ticked me off about this is - isn't this called The Hobbit? Isn't this Bilbo's story of light-hearted adventure and mayhem? He has a grand total of around twelve lines in this film - and Martin Freeman as Bilbo, is still basically the best thing about it. (And Bard! Bard, call me.)
This film has realised a beautiful world onscreen - this being one of Tolkien's strongest point as an author, so I suppose it's perhaps too much to credit the film with. But it just goes on for so long, not like at the end of the ROTK with the infamous 65 endings, but in the way where it stays on the weak points for too long, and doesn't make the most of its strong ones, until you get tired of trying to search for any deeper meaning and just watch the special effects. So, essentially, there is NO WAY IN HELL JACKSON, DO YOU HEAR ME that this needed to be three movies. But you gambled on my love of LOTR, and you know what? You got my money, Jackson. Three times. Well played.