The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

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The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Bedlam »

I went to see it yesterday and well, here's a short review: -

It's pretty bad.

Now here's a longer list of things I can remember about it good and bad.

It's actually quite short (comparably) a bit over 2 hours, I think it could have done with being at least half an hour longer to deal with various loose threads and give some more time away from the fighting.

Which is part of the problem basically three quarters of the film is fight scenes which should be thrilling but it comes off as dull, the few non battle parts are to rushed, seeing Thorin's decent into madness would have been good but instead we're just told 'yeah, he's gone crazy'

I saw it in high frame rate like the other two films and I got the same feeling for the first ten minutes that everything was in fast forward, after that well the heightened realism didn't do it any favours, Laketown looks like a set and many of the special effects just stand out as what they are.

Gandalf's rescue was quite cool although it's hard to take the Nazgul to seriously after seeing Saruman and Elrond wipe the floor with them, plus the transparent CGI ghost look is nowhere near as creepy as they were in Lord of the Rings.

Billy Connolly playing Billy Connolly's CGI stunt double, he got a few laughs (Telling the elf army to sod off) but basically a bit more depth would have been nice. It was fun but him using his head as his primary weapon got a bit stale after the sixth time. Likewise Albert is a slimy coward, again and again and again.

The dwarves fortifying the entrance to Erebor looked cool, it seems a bit unlikely they could build something that big overnight but it is what Dwarves are known for.

The elf / Dwarf romance it terrible and the dialogue is horrible.

The Orcs have grabboids on their side for all of ten seconds and then they're never mentioned again.

A really cool dwarf shield wall / phalanx with real 12 foot long pikes is rendered pointless when a bunch of elves jump over it to engage the orcs when we've previously seen the elf forces have loads of archers, why?!!!!

Armour that does nothing except on the orc hero's, they seemed indestructible where as the rank and file despite wearing full plate fell over if anyone poked them with a spoon, I know it happens in every film but it just jumped out at me in this one.

Azog chooses the most stupid weapon ever when fighting on an ice covered river (on that front shouldn't it be very early winter why is everything frozen even in the last film Laketown was frosty despite it being the last day of autumn).

Most of the company don't get to do anything, I'd hoped that given the film was a huge battle they'd let all the dwarves have a moment to shine but no. Dwalin heads into the boss fight and just disappears.

Where did the riding rams come from?

Legolas super elf, is there nothing he can't do?

Some nice visuals, Thorin sinking into the lake of gold created in the last film and him and Bard talking through the wall was interesting (Although how they were level I don't know, I guess Thorin was standing on a box)

The ending totally focuses on the company and the whole of Laketown and the rest of the dwarves don't get a word. They say Return of the King has too many endings, I think Battle has too few.

Bilbo lies to Gandalf about loosing the ring, why? He knows about it fifty years later.

I'm sure there's more but that's what's currently come to mind, badly paced, poorly edited, no conclusion for half the plots, some generally good looking action scene.

Definitely the worst of the three Hobbit films.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by SpottedKitty »

Bedlam wrote:It's pretty bad.
I've only watched the extended edition DVDs of the first two films; my experience of the LotR edits holds up nicely. What's up with films nowadays, none of them quite work right as stories until you see the DVD with all the cut out parts put back...
Billy Connolly playing Billy Connolly's CGI stunt double,
<snrk> I didn't know he was in this until he turned up in one of the DVD specials for Film 2. I wonder if the dwarven-headbanger thing was his idea?
Bilbo lies to Gandalf about loosing the ring, why? He knows about it fifty years later.
He suspected something was odd, that's all. He found out about the Ring at some point some years before the beginning of LotR, but he didn't know for sure exactly what it was until the scene with Frodo.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Purple »

So basically it butchers the book as much if not more than the other two?
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Malagar »

Purple wrote:So basically it butchers the book as much if not more than the other two?
Yes, and with the added bonus of, at least in my oppinion, loosing most of the humor of the previous two films.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Purple »

Malagar wrote:
Purple wrote:So basically it butchers the book as much if not more than the other two?
Yes, and with the added bonus of, at least in my oppinion, loosing most of the humor of the previous two films.
The previous films had humor? As I recall they cut all the humorous bits from the book to make room for a crappy romance plot and pointless fighting.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Malagar »

Purple wrote:
Malagar wrote:
Purple wrote:So basically it butchers the book as much if not more than the other two?
Yes, and with the added bonus of, at least in my oppinion, loosing most of the humor of the previous two films.
The previous films had humor? As I recall they cut all the humorous bits from the book to make room for a crappy romance plot and pointless fighting.
Humor was probably the wrong word, whimsy is probably better. Though now that I think about it that feeling was mostly in the first film, with scenes like the introduction of the dwarfs at Bag End, the wargs chasing the bunny powered sled and the fight under The Misty Mountains.
Though the 2'nd movie still had some whimsical scenes, like the escape from the elven palace and the running battle with Smaug through the mountain.

In the 3'rd movie all the fights seemed to take themselves more seriously and even the few moments where it would seem obvious to give the scene a whimsical feel* never really have it.

Like Bilbo's return to Bag End during the auction of his estate.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Darth Quorthon »

Do we at least get to see
Spoiler
Beorn showing up at the battle and tearing shit up?
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Bedlam »

Darth Quorthon wrote:Do we at least get to see
Spoiler
Beorn showing up at the battle and tearing shit up?
I wouldn't go with spoiler tags given the thread is noted as having spoilers, yes he does turn up but only appears for maybe twenty seconds top.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Darth Quorthon »

Bedlam wrote:
Darth Quorthon wrote:Do we at least get to see
Spoiler
Beorn showing up at the battle and tearing shit up?
I wouldn't go with spoiler tags given the thread is noted as having spoilers, yes he does turn up but only appears for maybe twenty seconds top.
Good call. I'm going to see it this Sunday with my Dad, and if Beorn didn't show up, I'd have to listen to him griping. Hell, he's still griping that Tom Bombadil wasn't in The Fellowship of the Ring.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by LaCroix »

Well, thinking about how he arrives at the battle (Maxime 11), your dad will be pleased, I guess...
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Elfdart »

I took my nephews and mom to see it the other night.

The Bad:

Beorn appears for about eight seconds and doesn't kill anyone important.

SuperLegolas

More than half the dwarves get about as much face time as the Goblin Mercenaries.

The deaths of two of the three dwarves.

How Bard kills Smaug

Rankin-Bass handled the killing of Smaug, Thorin's last words and the fates of the dwarves in the expedition WAY better than Jackson -on the last score they did better than Tolkien himself:



However...

The battle reminded me of the Battle of Endor: Just when things start getting oh so serious, something goofy and silly happens (Wicket slapping himself with a bolo/ the troll knocking himself out while headbutting his way through the wall*). The too brief shot of the dwarf phalanx PWNING the charging orcs was too awesome. But best of all: Armor plated war pigs and bighorn sheep, and Billy Connolly!
:wtf: :lol: 8)


* I was always annoyed by Peter Jackson's version of trolls. They are not scary or fearsome at all since they look like dried Play-doh. In fact, as far as Play-doh creatures go, these trolls are closer to Mr Bill than Mr Sluggo. When Bard shot one in the chest I almost expected the monster to cry "OH NOOOOOOOOO!".


Aside from a few episodes of Yamato 2199, I can't think of anything in over a decade that made my inner nine-year-old go "FUCK YEAH!" like these new Hobbit movies, and that goes double for the last one. Great fun all around!
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by SpottedKitty »

Elfdart wrote:The Bad:

SuperLegolas
You mean he manages to better his dwarf-surfing orc-shooty-stabby performance in the river scene in DoS? I'm not sure if I dare ask for details... :shock:
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Ahriman238 »

SpottedKitty wrote:
Elfdart wrote:The Bad:

SuperLegolas
You mean he manages to better his dwarf-surfing orc-shooty-stabby performance in the river scene in DoS? I'm not sure if I dare ask for details... :shock:
Well Legolas' contribution to the Battle involved hijacking an enemy warbat and killing it so it would drop him on a tower where he could do his archery thing. Upon noticing Tauriel in trouble and running out of arrows, he throws himself off the tower onto a troll's back, sword in the troll's skull. He then steers the troll into charging and knocking over a second tower, bridging the gap between him and Bolg. Their fight is long and drawn out, with many over-the-top moves (and Legolas' disturbing victory o-face) but I think we can all agree the part where the wall/floor collapses beneath him and he runs up falling bricks like a staircase was a bridge too far.


Saw it with the fiance, in case you couldn't tell. The movie has serious problems, beginning with too many subplots. The elf/dwarf romance is terrible to behold, I couldn't give a shit about the Master or his crony if you gave me a brasserie full of gold coins to, and the elf-king's motivation to fight comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Plus I'm just sick of the Azog plot and the two fight scenes with named orcs that never. fucking. ended.

Smaug's death with the improvised bow was incredibly stupid. His strafing the town was beautiful to behold, the landing and taunting Bard while a black arrow is aimed at his weak spot? Not so much.

Instead of being lust for gold, Dragon-sickness in this movie seems to be more of a literal curse or disease causing madness. Thorin goes all Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as you'd expect. But he starts growling half his lines, sounding incredibly like Smaug. The resolution scene too was pretty meh.

Further, the movie tried too hard to connect to LotR.

The Dol Guldur scenes I didn't have a huge problem with, besides lacking important context and Galadriel's going all Queen of Darkness.

And for all that and more.... I had a good time.

I actually enjoyed myself and thought this at least as good as the first Hobbit film, maybe even the best of them. Only the fights with the named orcs were tedious, I laughed at most of the combat slapstick, thrilled at the references to Angmar and generally had a blast. I count this as a good movie, not a great movie, it does have all of these problems, and not worth wading through the shit it took to get here, but worth the price of admission.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by SpottedKitty »

Ahriman238 wrote:Their fight is long and drawn out, with many over-the-top moves (and Legolas' disturbing victory o-face) but I think we can all agree the part where the wall/floor collapses beneath him and he runs up falling bricks like a staircase was a bridge too far.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by phred »

SpottedKitty wrote:
Ahriman238 wrote:Their fight is long and drawn out, with many over-the-top moves (and Legolas' disturbing victory o-face) but I think we can all agree the part where the wall/floor collapses beneath him and he runs up falling bricks like a staircase was a bridge too far.
Image
What? Are you saying that would be unrealistic?!? Ok, yeah, I laughed at that part too.

Elves jumping the shield wall bugged me too.

Billy Connoly riding an actual war pig was pretty kewl, the headbutting got old real fast.

The orcs wearing paper plate armor, while the leaders jagged strips of metal glued on at random intervals makes them indestructible was...

Entertaining enough for the matinee ticket
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Guardsman Bass »

1. I really liked the ending for Desolation of Smaug, with Smaug's "I am fire, I am . . .death" line, Bilbo's "What have we done?" - cut to black. But having seen how this movie handled Smaug's death, I think they should have put it with the first film. It just felt like such unsatisfying pay-off for a sequence that was huge in the prior film, although some of it looked fantastic.

2. The whole movie was a breeze in terms of pacing, especially for the first half. I can't think of any moments where I felt it stall down and checked my watch during the film. It segues nicely from Smaug's death to the refugees in Dale to the battle, although it's kind of bizarre to see the Laketown folk suddenly become so good at combat.

3. The Tauriel-Kili thing didn't really bother me much in DoS, because they had one really good scene together (talking about the stars and night sky in the elvish prison) that made up for the other irritating stuff. It bothered me a lot more here, and I think they should have made it much more understated.

4. Those are some very good battle scenes, although it's hilarious to see the Orcs' battle competence shift from "dangerous" to "cannon fodder" when the movie needs them too. I laughed out loud when the four dwarves were in the ruins chasing after Azog, and they're like "Oh, it's 100 Goblin Mercenaries. We'll handle them, you two go ahead".

5. Mixed feelings on the Dol Goldur scene. It's actually not quite as cool as the scene in the source material, where the elves wipe out the forces there and Galadriel actually obliterates the fortress to free Mirkwood from Sauron's influence. But I still enjoyed seeing her go toe-to-toe with Sauron and drive him back, presumably with the power of her ring of power.

All in all, this is my least favorite of the Hobbit Trilogy Films, and probably the one I'm least likely to re-watch. I've found that when I re-watch the prior two films, I mostly gravitate to the non-battle scenes: the unexpected party, the dwarves lost in Mirkwood, and so forth. This was mostly battle scenes.

Weird side-question, but do fans think the Arkenstone is one of the missing silmarils - namely the one that ended up in a volcano when the elf holding it jumped in with it? I like that theory.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Guardsman Bass wrote:Weird side-question, but do fans think the Arkenstone is one of the missing silmarils - namely the one that ended up in a volcano when the elf holding it jumped in with it? I like that theory.
Maedhros threw his silmaril into a "fiery pit". Also, the Silmaril "burned" the hands of those not worthy of the gem.

As for the movie, it feels again like a mish mash of half baked ideas and what not. Not least the problem with consistency and the usual PJ's disrespect for Tolkien lore which he as usual shit all over it. Apparently his hubris is simply too great despite him using someone's own work for a movie.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Serafina »

Lot's of stupid over-the-top scenes that could have been just as awesome if done in a smart way.

Best example IMO: the moment where the elves decide to join forces with the dwarves by jumping over their shield wall.
Instead of that, you could have just built on previous displays of elven prowess and discipline.

Have the dwarves fend off the first wave of orcs easily, except for a single troll that smashes through their wall of pikes. Then have a line of trolls show up, ready to charge the dwarves, making it obvious that this would put them into serious danger.
Just when they are about to hit the dwarven line, they are mowed down by precise fire from elvish bows while the elven infantry drives the orcs into the dwarfish pikes.


During the entire scene with Smaug and Bard, i just thought "what the hell is he doing, i though dragons were supposed to be smart and have great senses? Can't he see the black arrow?"
I actually liked it when they established the Black Arrows as being ballista bolts instead of normal arrows, it made a lot more sense. But here they pretty much ruined it by requiring a goofy setup for them to be fired at all - then again, they could have kept at least a single ballista or such somewhere in the armory.

The whole scene would have been done better if some other character had deliberately distracted Smaug while Bard sets up the shot. The dwarves would have been excellent candidates for that - Smaug would have more reason to lord over them than over (from his POV) some random human.

So, Dwarves get shown as incredibly brave distracting a dragon while Bard and some remaining city guards wheel out a barely-maintained ballista from the armory. We get actual character interaction, we show Bards charisma by convincing guards who had previously arrested him, we can build just as much tension.
And best of all, later on this gives the Dwarves a reason to go back on their deal - after all they risked their necks to help kill the dragon, and now Bard shows up on their doorstep and makes demands?



The scenes in Dol Guldur would have been much improved with some mooks around. And they were altogether too short in my opinion - if you want to pad out your film, at least do it with meaningful story rather than whacky hijinks.
But overall, those were actually my favorite part of the movie, aside from Galadriels transformation looking off to me.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Tiriol »

Well, I've seen the movie and my thoughts...

Smaug's death came all too soon and only reinforces my belief that it would have been better to have him die in the end of the second film. Now we don't get any build-up to his character in this movie, despite the epic scene of him burning the Laketown down.

Necromancer's sub-plot didn't work in this film, at all. Dol Guldur was suddenly basically undefended, Saruman and Elrond became Dante's Inferno/God of War characters with the Ringwraiths and Galadriel's strange Dark Queen -moment was silly. OK, it did show how immensely powerful Sauron was when everyone was clearly drained by their encounter with him, but it was still stupid (Galadriel actually using her magic to THROW Sauron all the way to Mordor?). It feels like the movie-makers would have wanted to just get rid of the whole sub-plot as soon as possible but couldn't drop it entirely. Elrond and Radagast were underused, as was Saruman - since Bilbo never visits Rivendell again, Elrond doesn't appear again and even Saruman's line "I will deal with Sauron", which sort of implied he would seek to confront Sauron (or contact him) in the movie was just a throw-away line with no repercussions.

I actually didn't have that much of a problem with Thorin's dragon-sickness. There have been implications that some sort of evil spell or influence lingers over treasures guarded by creatures of Evil like dragons and barrow-wights. I did like how they tied Smaug motif to it and how the wyrm slithers through Thorin's vision of gold lake. However, Thorin's death was handled better in the book, although they did have the actor say some of Tolkien's own lines, which were very effective. And Bilbo's sorrow was really believable in that scene.

The battle itself dragged on and what the hell was up with those demonic giant worms? Did the movie turn into Dune for a second? Beorn was criminally under-utilized and the whole "re-taking the kingdom of Angmar" seemed a bit silly. Interestingly, though, the armies were not as big as those in LotR movies, which was a good decision, I think - it shows that while the battles here are important and big, the truly huge battles that would decide the fate of the end of an Age thwart just about everything else, especially the Siege of Minas Tirith and the Battle of Morannon. Dain Ironfoot was a stereotypical dwarf in many aspects, but enjoyable; and his Elven counterpart, Thranduil, once again lacked clear motivation and was an immense bigot and callous (while the book did portray him as pretty grumpy, I don't remember him being that bad, he even showed signs of humor for God's sake). The lack of motivation is all due to PJ cutting away some scenes of the Elf-king from the first movie and now it really bites him in the back. And Tauriel and Legolas just keep running around, like the film wouldn't really know what to do with them. And fuck me sideways if the end of the Elven storyline doesn't just scream "we cut away scenes/we didn't think this one through!". However, the actual fight scenes were nice and we did see civilians in peril for a change.

Speaking of which, how come Gandalf suddenly learned about the Ring (although he clearly doesn't believe it to be anything more, necessarily, than a simple magic ring instead of the One Ring)? I don't think he has some Ring-sense or some such.

All in all... A mediocre movie. It could have been much better, though. The inevitable Extended version will probably fix some issues. And at least this time Christopher Lee got to appear in the last film of the trilogy.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by SpottedKitty »

Tiriol wrote:The inevitable Extended version will probably fix some issues.
No "probably" about it — the restored material has improved the story five times now, why not go for all six?
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

SpottedKitty wrote:
Tiriol wrote:The inevitable Extended version will probably fix some issues.
No "probably" about it — the restored material has improved the story five times now, why not go for all six?
This movie has way too many issues to be fixed by mere restored material, unless there was half an hour worth of it.

The ending was really really rushed and utterly lacking in gravitas. Ugh. It's like they were rushing to end it within 5-10mins of the long and awfully dragged out battle.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Purple »

Tiriol wrote:Speaking of which, how come Gandalf suddenly learned about the Ring (although he clearly doesn't believe it to be anything more, necessarily, than a simple magic ring instead of the One Ring)? I don't think he has some Ring-sense or some such.
Well he is the setting equivalent of a demigod or maybe archangel or something and has one of the elven rings as his own. So I would not be imagined if he can sense it.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Guardsman Bass »

Anyone else notice that Legolas and Tauriel's journey to Gundabad ended up being completely pointless? Sure, they were coming back to warn the dwarves and elves of a new host approaching - but then Eagles showed up and killed them all anyways.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Guardsman Bass wrote:Anyone else notice that Legolas and Tauriel's journey to Gundabad ended up being completely pointless? Sure, they were coming back to warn the dwarves and elves of a new host approaching - but then Eagles showed up and killed them all anyways.
He just wanted to rehash the Minas Morgul scene, minus the green torch light.
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Re: The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies (Spoliers)

Post by Darth Quorthon »

I saw it today, and I enjoyed it well enough, most of my gripes with it have already been covered, so I won't rehash them. All in all, not a great movie, but good enough to keep me entertained and not feel like I wasted my money. My biggest disappointment was how briefly Beorn appeared, even though I was forewarned about it. Yeah, I thought it was cool how he rode in on an eagle, transformed into a bear in midair, and started knocking orcs around, but then, that was it? Couldn't PJ have spared a few seconds off the Bolg/Legolas fight and the Kili/Tauriel stuff to just show some more of Beorn kicking ass? I thought the Dol Goldur scene was decent, I actually thought the ringwraiths looked pretty cool, but what was with Gandalf grabbing Galadriel's hand and saying "Come with me, my Lady"? Did he have a crush on her, or did he know confronting Sauron would drain her? It just seemed off to me, but that could just be me nitpicking. Also, seeing the master's crony dude being a coward and douchebag over and over got a bit tiring for me, yeah, we get it, the guy's a sleazebag, maybe some of his scenes could have been cut for maybe a brief shot of Thranduil getting his jewels back? (If indeed he did get them back, it's been awhile since I read the book) I'm interested to see the extended edition, I read that PJ has already stated it'll contain about 30 extra minutes, we shall see how it addresses all of our gripes.
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