Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hobbit BOTFA review

Four out of five stars.

They warned that there would be lots of fighting, but actually what is filmed is the story of various characters caught in the battle, and how it affects them. Not a mindless chase like the first movie in the goblin caves. So Bard and son kill the dragon then rejoice to find that Tauriel rescued their daughters, and later he takes over and decides how to help the refugees.

The Dwaves left in Laketown immediately go to the mountain to check if their relatives are dead or not.
The elves come with aid, and also an army to plunder the mountain, and almost start a war when Thorin gets the dragon sickness and builds walls to keep the gold.

The best "non Tolkien" scene here is Thorin, finding Bilbo looking at something then trying to hide it from him, demands to see it (suspecting correctly that he might have pinched the arkenstone). But Bilbo pulls out an acorn that he found at Beorn's house, and explains that when he gets home, he will plant a tree and watch it grow to remember his friends.  This phrase was in the trailer, but in a different place, as usual.

Dain arrives with the Iron Hill dwarves, and is a foul mouth Scotsman with the most creative vocabulary since Eddie Murphy hit Beverly Hills, albeit British, not American, obscenity. Luckily, Ruby didn't catch the meaning of the words, since she only knows American English.

And the dwarves brought pigs and rams, while the orcs brought bats, Thranduil brought an aggressive Irish War Elk, and Radagast and Beorn brought the eagles. For better or worse, Hollywood ordered a shorter movies, so most of the generic fighting seems to have been cut out, leaving only the fighting involving the main characters.

The ending is quite abrupt, probably again due to the studio orders. Bilbo quickly goes home afterward, not even staying for the funerals. We are left with the idea they will be happy, but no details. Unless you are a geek, you don't know what happens to them.

Lots of small items for geeks to notice and compare and contrast with the book and the appendices (Durin gets back his sword, Bard's son takes after his father, suggesting why he ended up the next leader of Dale, Bilbo fights more than in the book, but gets knocked out which saves his life so he can reconcile with Thorin). This one is Thorin's film.

Oh yes: Galadriel kicks ass...but not with a sword but like the fights in the Simarillion, with power alone.  Don't mess with the elf lady folks.

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