Friday, 19 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - The scoop and digest

Originally subbed There and Back Again, buckle up and ride with me for the last time.

Plot details and/or spoilers will engage in combat.

Middle-earth ends for:

Martin Freeman - Bilbo
Ian McKellan - Gandalf
Richard Armitage - Thorin
Orlando Bloom - Legolas
Bard - Luke Evans
Manu Bennett - Azog
John Tui - Bolg
Saruman - Christopher Lee

Still pissed at taking a golden shower, Smaug sets about decimating Laketown until Bard poops on his party when handed the Black Arrow by son Bain.

It seems Phil 'The Power' Taylor may have some competition as he cornily scores a direct hit.

A dragon slayer is born.

In the aftermath of the town's destruction, the survivors set up shop in Dale.

While searching tirelessly for the fabled Arkenstone inside the Lonely Mountain, Thorin has contracted 'dragon sickness' because Smaug brooding over Erebor's gold has brought a curse.

Why is everybody else immune?

Err.

At Dol Guldur, Galadriel and Saruman help defeat several Nazgul and rescue a weakened Gandalf.  Principal bad boy Sauron appears to tempt Galadriel but she casts him out from whence he came.

Orc head honcho Azog is planning an imminent assault on Erebor and sends his son Bolg to ambush elsewhere.

Even though Bilbo has already handed over the Arkenstone to the elf contingent so Thorin can be appeased, the stubborn sod's having none of it.

Cousin Dain Ironfoot II arrives with his crew of armoured dwarves to give these bastards a hammerin'.

War beasts (trolls with on-board weaponry) are summoned to assist in the Orc rampage.

During all that jazz, Legolas and Thorin resume unfinished business with Bolg and Azog respectively.

Legolas takes care of son but due to the sheer weight of his rock and chain weapon, Azog goes under ice.  However, he drags himself up and gleefully stabs Thorin with makeshift arm but crucially, our baddie gets the point even more...

Before succumbing to his wound, he and Bilbo make amends.

Hairy foot bids farewell to Thorin's remainder and heads back to the Shire with Gandalf.

Upon return, his estate has been sold off.

111 years hence, his older self welcomes a visit from an old friend.

Overall, a fairly satisfying conclusion to a mediocre trilogy.

We never wanted a very short book to be stretched over three films and compressing all into a single epic would have definitely sufficed.

Speaking on behalf of hundreds and thousands, I'm relieved it's over.

My first complaint is the death of Smaug.  Yeah I know it's inevitable, but to paraphrase a John Lennon song, give dragon a chance.

Did Benedict Cumberbatch care?  No.  This is easy money.

Dwarves were labelled 'scum' and 'filth' in the first and second respectively but this time, Orcs keep derogatory remarks to themselves as the insult baton is handed to their enemy.

There isn't much plot, script can be awful and those supporting the main course cannot act for toffee.

Two sequences deliver knockout referencing blows.

At some point, Legolas assumes control of a war beast and I swear Peter Jackson has played God of War and the only thing missing was executing button and analogue stick prompts.

When Azog goes under the ice, Renny Harlin's Cliffhanger jumps instantly to mind.

The scene in question is when mountain ranger Gabe Walker (Stallone) gets the better of Rex Linn's crooked federal agent Travers who takes a swim to Arizona.

There's only one more avenue to go down but obtaining rights for The Silmarillion is a billion miles away.

If it does become a reality, five chapters surely means five films.

Please God no!

Season's greetings and until next year folks.

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