Friday 2 January 2015

The Hobbit - One Outta Three Ain't Bad!

Meat Loaf may have sung "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad", sadly Peter Jackson didn't manage that. I went to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was hopeful given the fact that the second movie was better than the first, surely Jackson couldn't cock up a huge battle?

To be fair there are some really good bits, Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin are excellent and it is a shame that they don't get more screen time, especially Freeman who the film is supposed to be about!

What spoilt it for me was Legolas, not his unnecessary inclusion, but the way the CGI version of the character scoots around the battle scenes in absurd ridiculous ways that reminded me of Spiderman without the webshooter! I physically cringed on two occasions!

It was this (and the irritating Alfred character from Laketown) that made me click what Jackson had done wrong. Tolkien wrote his stories as historical events in a mythical land and whilst they are fantasy, they don't have characters acting like super-heroes doing comic book things. Looking at how HBO have filmed Game of Thrones, despite the fantastic elements such as the dragons and white walkers, they treat it like a historical drama.

Jackson has elements of this, the survivors from Laketown scene is potentially powerful drama but he ruins it with cheap comedy moments. The fall of Thorin to dragon-gold sickness is excellently portrayed by Armitage, but there is not enough of this. The fighting in Dale and the heroic choice of the Laketown women to die with the men is ruined by the Monty Python act by Alfred...

Some people will like it, like the jokes, like Legolas catching rides with bats and running up crumbling masonry but I didn't. Tolkien should best be treated as drama and not popcorn action mixed with sub-Python comedy...


  1. I think you've pretty much encapsulated what I didn't like about the film. That, and the fact that one of the five armies was actually dropped :)

    And don't get me started on the Alfred thing, and Jackson's reliance on crossdressing as a vehicle for cheap laughs.

    I agree that Freeman's Bilbo was excellent, as was Thorin's descent into madness. They saved the film from being the worst movie I'd seen in 2015.

  2. I was also disappointed by many of the 'light' moments that took away from what should have been a very dramatic ending to the trilogy.
    Am I also allowed to mention the CGI Billy Connolly...?

  3. Can't agree more with you. This time Peter Jackson has taken it too far.
    I love the Lord of The Rings, have the 3 DVD extended versions and every Xmas we arrange a family TV watching marathon; but I do not think this is going to be the case with The Hobbit, specially with the last film