Like I said, I am not a fan of trendy books. Certainly not the Lord of the Rings series, which I think came out, like, a long time ago. But once again I’ve become a fan of the film adaptations, despite not being able to remember character names or much of what happens from one movie to the next. It’s kind of like my relationship with Game of Thrones — I know majorly important crazy awesome things are happening and that it’s extremely well written, well acted and well produced, I’m just not always clear on the details.
The Desolation of Smaug
The second Hobbit movie picks up right where the first one left off, when the very bad dragon guarding the very nice treasure in the very big mountain woke up. Bilbo Baggins, grandfather of Frodo Baggins, and his team of dwarfs are en route to said mountain and encountering all sorts of bad luck — orcs, giant spiders (where does there ALWAYS have to be a giant spider!?), the usual, but unbeknownst to the dwarfs Bilbo is in possession of The Ring, a.k.a. Precious. Gandalf is leading them in his Gandalf way until he has to go off on his own to uncover the dark and powerful evil that is rising and will eventually kill them all. (Now that I think about it, I find it hard to believe that Gandalf didn’t know Bilbo had the ring that whole time, right?) On their journey the dwarfs run into the elves, and the groups do not mesh well, but then the orcs attack and they are their common enemy so they sort of team up. Well, the Orlando Bloom and Kate from Lost elves do, anyway. The dwarfs finally reach the mountain via Lake-town, destroyed by the dragon years ago, and they send Bilbo in to get this magic stone that will somehow restore the dwarfs to power. Naturally Bilbo awakens the dragon, and after an action-packed battle throughout the mountain the darn thing escapes with plans to light the world on fire once again. As he’s watching the dragon fly away in fury, Bilbo goes, “What have we done?” and the movie ends.
What I hate about these movies: The endings. They’re like TV show season finales, and it just shouldn’t be legal to leave people hanging like that. What I love about these movies: Everything else. They are usually two and a half to three hours long, in fact I think one of the LOTR movies is longer than that, but they never feel that long because so much great stuff happens. What I especially like about The Hobbit vs. LOTR: The Hobbit books actually came first, so the movies are not being made to fit the mold of the three LOTR movies, know what I’m saying? I don’t really like when prequels are created just so the sequel make more sense. I eagerly await the third and final Hobbit movie, but I can’t say I have plans to read the books anytime soon.
The Battle of the Five Armies
Ok, now that I’ve seen (and enjoyed) all three Hobbit movies, it’s time to re-watch the Lord of the Rings movies. If I don’t re-watch them soon, I am never going to remember anything about this franchise.
Much like the second Hobbit movie starting right where the first left off, The Battle of the Five Armies opens with Smaug (mean dragon) escaping the mountain and attacking Lake-town once again. He makes a fiery mess of the place but doesn’t last long because that guy who looks like Johnny Depp shoots him with a special arrow. (Bit of a letdown, actually — the whole first two movies were all about this super-evil powerful dragon, then he’s taken out with one lousy arrow? Womp womp.) The remaining people of Lake-town leave the destroyed land and head to the mountain to reclaim their part of the fortune that lies within the dwarf palace, but Thorin Oakenshield (now in charge of the dwarfs) has gone a bit mad and doesn’t want to share any of his shiny new treasure. Then the elves show up and they, too, want some of the gold, which makes Thorin even more mad (mad like crazy and mad like angry), and then Bilbo Baggins gives the Arkenstone to the Johnny Depp guy and the elf leader, and now Thorin is madder than ever. So now we have the dwarfs, the elves and the humans — three of the five armies in the title. The other two? Well…
The very evil orcs have been planning a sneak attack from under the mountain and from the north, guaranteeing that they would wear down whichever armies they faced first so that the second one could swoop in and destroy the rest. Somehow the fiercest of the dwarfs defeat the orcs who come in from the north (which I found a bit hard to believe — they’re so tiny!) while everyone else bands together and defeats the other orcs. Thorin finally stops being so crazy and kills the orc leader (who I didn’t think was all that important), but dies in the process himself, and that’s very sad. The people of Lake-town and the dwarfs can now live happily ever after in/near the mountain, and the elves can go home, and Bilbo Baggins can go back to the Shire and grow old in his little house until Gandalf shows back up and asks about that pesky old ring.
I know I make fun, but this is definitely the best of the three Hobbit movies as it has the most action. I saw it in IMAX 3D, which was a bit disorienting at times, but it’s really a very impressive film. Fellowship of the Ring, here I come!