I don’t know if this even needs saying but BOTFA SPOILERS AHEAD!
Last month I published a post of my very first thoughts for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which you can read here. Last week I saw BOTFA for the fourth time and now I feel like I should do an updated post on what I thought about the film, so here goes.
I still love it. It’s strange though because whenever I discuss the film all I do is complain and make fun of it. I’m still trying to figure out how I loved it so much when I have more negative things to say than positive. I will try to arrange my thoughts in order of how they appear on screen but I’ll probably lose track fairly quickly. Let’s begin.
The font for the title is in Ringbearer just like The Desolation of Smaug (I’m guessing) but not like An Unexpected Journey and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s a small thing but it bothers me a lot that there’s such a drastic change in typeface choice. I don’t want to say it’s the designer in me that has such a problem with it because I know other people who have issues with it as well. Aaaaaaanyway, enough of that haha.
Let’s move onto Smaug’s death scene. As I’ve said many times before, I love Bard. I thought Bard was GREAT, well, the comment he made about Alfrid’s slip was…yeahhhhh……..but I thought the rest was A+. I choked up every time I saw the scene between him and Bain. I choke up just thinking about it. “Bain, look at me. You look at me.” I’m pretty sure that’s the moment that makes me the most emotional out of everything in the film. I just…I just really love Bard.
Alfrid. Oh, Alfrid. I know we aren’t supposed to like him but there was SO MUCH of him that I not only didn’t like him, I really didn’t like him. I thought he was annoying and unneeded. I was fine with the first two or so moments but he just kept coming back. I could have probably done without 3/4 of all of his scenes. How many times do we need to see how selfish, gross and obnoxious he is? Why Bard kept giving him tasks I will never know. We are promised at least 30 minutes of extra footage in the extended edition and I have this fear that some of that will go to Alfrid. In the chronicles book for BOTFA, they discuss ways he could die and if some of the EE goes to Alfrid’s death scene I SWEEEAAARRRR TO GOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDD.
Now I want to talk a little bit about Richard Armitage’s acting because it was superb. There are moments in the film where you can see him go from sane to crazy with just his eyes. It’s amazing but incredibly chilling. One moment in particular is when the dwarves and Bilbo realize that Smaug has finally been slain and the shot goes to Thorin who’s entire demeanor changes. You then see him make his way over to Erebor. Other moments that I love include the acorn scene and the scene between Thorin and Dwalin. The acorn scene has become one of the most popular scenes from the film and now I feel emotional every time I see an acorn. He runs in demanding what Bilbo has in his hand only to find out it’s not the Arkenstone, instead it’s an acorn that Bilbo wishes to plant in his garden. For a moment it seems as if the old Thorin has resurfaced, he basically smiles at Bilbo for what felt like 5 hours. And his scene with Dwalin, wow. Wow wow wow. “You sit here, in these vast halls, with a crown upon your head and yet you are lesser now than you have ever been.” My emotions were going all over the place at this point.
To be quite honest, I really don’t care about the fact that Kili is a dwarf and Tauriel is an elf, and how that relationship has caused so many debates over the last few years. But oh my god, when I saw BOTFA for the fourth time, I laughed during their scenes more than I have previously. When they’re on the shore and Kili tells her, “You make me feel alive.” I don’t know what changed but I let out a laugh, I could not hold it in. Then Tauriel’s “Legolas senses” tingle and you suddenly see Legolas standing and observing them….as usual. I felt bad because this is supposed to be a touching scene and here I am laughing. It’s not like I dislike Kili and Tauriel’s relationship, because I am fine with it, but for some reason it has gotten so much more funny to me. Then there’s the scene with “Because it was real.“
That reminds me, the Aragorn reference. The first time I saw the movie I was ALL FOR IT, because, duh, Aragorn. But I don’t know, I think my opinion has changed. Now I think it was random, like “Okay son I guess I have to accept the fact that you are never coming back home. But I have an idea, go find this dude. I won’t tell you his name. Go find that out by yourself. Alright, bye.” But the Gondor theme plays during this part so how can I dislike it??
Dol Guldur. As soon as I heard the familiar tune of the Lothlorien theme I got so pumped. Like I said before, I do appreciate Galadriel’s ability to fight while in a beautiful flowing dress, (with no shoes) but I want to see her in armor!! I want to see her in armor while wielding an awesome sword. Oh and there’s also the awkward carrying of Gandalf. Did it look weird to anyone else? But I mean, if she can easily pick him up and carry him, you go, Galadriel. I am still not into Galadriel’s “drowned look” as the BOTFA chronicles calls it. I prefer to call it her The Ring/The Grudge moment.
TIME TO TALK ABOUT ELROND. I love his entrance, it was sO great. The Rivendell theme starts to play, but it’s much more quick, loud and intense, unlike the relaxing tone you get in LOTR. “You should have stayed dead.” Yyyyyeeeesssssssss Elrooooooonnnddddd, yesssss. *clap clap clap*
I’m still not a huge fan of Legolas in this film yet. I get Tauriel is his friend and he feels very close to her but it doesn’t seem right he would so quickly go against Thranduil’s orders and to say something like, “My father does not control ~my heart~.” That did happen in the film, right? I couldn’t make that up. Then when he and Tauriel went to spy on the orcs in Angmar and he was like, “Oh by the way my mom died here.” ?????????????????? There are NO references to his mother in any of the other films, there was no buildup it was just, “she’s dead.” And at the end of the film we hear Thranduil tell Legolas, “Your mother loved you more than anything. More than life.” I could have done without those two references, I don’t think it was needed. Well, I guess you can conclude that the gems Thranduil has been going on and on about were supposed to belong to her. So maybe they had to mention this woman so there’s a connection to the jewelry? Now my thoughts are going off in all directions. It just seems like such a waste, they could have done anything with this character since she isn’t mentioned at all in Tolkien’s writings. But instead they kill her off with hardly any added information. I should stop here because I’ll just keep ranting.
Theeeeen there’s the Legolas Moves. I knew they were coming yet that did not stop me from rolling my eyes at how extreme they were. Extreme is a nice way to put it by the way. First you have the bat. Okay, okay….how did he turn upside down while holding onto the bat? Why did he waste an arrow on the bat? Why didn’t the bat try to fight him, did it not bother him (or her I don’t know) that some random elf jumped up and is grabbing onto his legs? I have so many questions. THEN THE ROCKS. I mean come on. COME ON. COME OOOOONNNNNNNNN.
Oh wait I forgot one moment. The moment when he dives and stabs a troll in the head with Orcrist so he can maneuver it to get to Bolg. I hate that troll’s design. Hate is a strong word so let me change that to “EXTREME DISLIKE.” It looks like all of its limbs were amputated so that weapons could be added. This poor creature walks on stilts….that are also weapons? And his eyes are stitched with chains???????????? WHO APPROVED THIS?! It makes me so uncomfortable.
Thorin’s death makes me so mad. HE FOLLOWS AZOG. WHY?? You know as soon as Azog closes his eyes that he is not dead, you KNOW it. And what happens? HE STABS THORIN IN THE FOOT AND BURSTS THROUGH THE ICE. (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻
Some other moments I really love include Balin. All of Balin. Balin was perfect. Also Beorn’s short moment where he dives into the battle while transforming into a bear, HOW BAD ASS IS THAT? “Very” would be the answer. I sincerely hope we get to see more of Beorn in the extended edition. And while I’m on that topic, let me talk about all the other moments I hope will be in the extended edition. I want Thranduil to finally get some closure about those gems because to constantly reference how much he wants them and to ultimately not do anything with them? Lame. We will definitely get Thorin, Fili and Kili’s funeral scene. There is a section in the BOTFA chronicles about it and it looks so beautifully heartbreaking. I will never understand why it wasn’t included in the theatrical release, the movie itself was pretty short, only about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Okay that sounds long, but compared to the other Middle-earth films it’s short. I also need to see Dain becoming King Under the Mountain and see Bard become King of Dale. There were TOO MANY loose ends.
There are more things I want to say but I can’t think of them.