Spoiler Alert: Please don’t read any further if you haven’t seen The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. That’s it. I warned you.
Yesterday I went to see the final installment of The Hobbit saga with a crowd of moviegoers who were either unsure what to do on Christmas or who wanted an excuse not to have to talk to their relatives for 2 hours and 24 minutes.
I wondered if J.R.R. Tolkien would be happy that Peter Jackson had used some of Tolkien’s obscure notes to stretch his slim Hobbit tome into three bloated…A dragon! Lots of fire! A dragon!
The dwarf king, Thorin Oakenshield, his crew and our hobbit Bilbo Baggins watch from the mountain as Smaug lays waste to Laketown. Thorin’s mind has been tainted with “dragon sickness,” known today as capitalism.
Meanwhile, his merry band of dwarves do nothing while he threatens them and acts like a general asshat.
The people of Laketown have been promised a share of the treasure, but Oakenshield goes back on his word. Thandrial, King of the Elves, shows up with an army and a flimsy excuse that he wants a jeweled necklace that’s in with the treasure. What he really wants is money to pay for the moisturizer all his elves religiously apply to keep their skin glowing before battle.
All the main characters ride some type of animal. The representative of the men, the Bard, rides a horse. Well, he tries. Thandrial rides a moose while his personal hairstylist follows with a brush.
Dain Ironfoot, another dwarf king, shows up on a…pig. Yes, it has tusks, but it mainly looks cute and completely useless for battle, except maybe for a post-victory luau.
Then, when Thorin shakes off his crazy and decides to go to war, he and his men get to ride Rams they got from….Um, anyone?
Meanwhile, Gandalf has been captured by orcs and held in an iron cage. (Watch Fellowship of the Ring to see he didn’t learn his lesson about this) Elf queen Galadrial shows up to rescue him.
When she has to fight off Sauron, the dark Lord, she turns into a green, glowing zombie queen from Hell. This is the same image she showed Frodo in Fellowship of the Ring, when she refused the one ring’s power, stating it would turn her into a dark queen, beautiful and terrible. (Yes, I’m paraphrasing.) Was Peter Jackson just using old footage to save money v. having Galadriel use a white light of goodness?
Finally, the Battle of the 5 Armies. Men, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs and…Eagles. Giant eagles who snatch up an unsuspecting grizzly bear, minding his own business while eating honey and catching salmon, and drop him into the fray. Wow, is he pissed. (Yes, I know it’s Beorn who has transformed into a bear, but imagine if it was just a bear…)
The orcs get the crap knocked out of them despite their immense numbers due to aluminum foil armor, or some other reason. War bats fly in, mainly to look cool. Legolas defies the law of physics by catching a ride to a place he needs to go by grabbing one’s feet. I don’t know about you, but most animals that get grabbed unwillingly by someone the size of a person probably aren’t going to be happy about it. Maybe this little bat trip was so we wouldn’t question Legolas not falling from a stone bridge that disintegrates beneath his feet while fighting an orc and running up stairs made of nothing but air.
The remainder of the movie goes like this:
Alfrid Lickspittle of Laketown is a coward who dresses as a woman to hide and makes off with enough treasure in his bra to give him size E stripper boobs. We’re all bummed when an orc doesn’t get him.
A large, grotesque monster courteously waits to kill the Bard’s children until the Bard can cascade down a path in a wooden wagon and save the day.
Kili the Dwarf and Tauriel the Elf play Romeo and Juliet, but only one dies.
Thandriel shakes his golden hair and advises his brokenhearted son Legolas to forget Tauriel and to go find Strider. That’s actually good advice because Strider (a.k.a. Aragorn) is so hot he’d make anyone forget being dumped for a dwarf.
Thorin doesn’t know that when your enemy is down, a good double tap will make sure he doesn’t come back. Maybe it’s because that’s a hard thing to do with a sword.
Bilbo Baggins makes it back to the Shire with The One Ring, leading you to rewatch (and/or watch if you’ve been under a rock since 2001) the Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King.
It’s a last goodbye to Middle Earth. I bid you a fond farewell.