What happened to my cute childhood book The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien?
In the last two years, I’ve said that the film version of The Hobbit was far too stretched and milked for all it is worth. The third time around, I basically had to concede it was a different animal altogether. And that it felt so much better.
Forget whatever notions you have of the cute childhood book, and just take it as a springboard for something huge and epic, another reason to return to everyone’s beloved Middle Earth.
It was truly something else: it was massive, it was epic! This third installment, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” is the best of the series by far.
The special effects and design was beyond astounding. You know how some films are shot dark to cover up the shoddy special effects? Absolutely no such thing here. Watch the HFR (high frame rate) print in 3D at the IMAX and you’ll see the painstaking detail, the amount of meticulous work it took to bring magnificent vistas and fantasy scenes to life. You’ll see everything from vast, majestic New Zealand landscapes turned to Tolkien’s Middle Earth down to the artsy detail on the beads of on a dwarf’s beard or an elf’s braid.
There is so much to see, in so many scenes, you really don’t know where to look.
There are lots of parallels between this on and “The Return of the King”—without giving away too much, there are tons big, dramatic and climactic battle, as well as dialogue played out to tug at the heartstrings.
Script-wise, “The Battle of The Five Armies” reminds us of what we loved so much about The Lord of the Rings: the idea of heroism.
Heroic acts abound—and the audience is all to eager to fall in love all over again with the notion that everyone from the most skilled fighter to the everyman can be heroic in their own fashion, that what makes us different can actually work towards a common goal.
We all love the heroes Tolkien has presented us with—Gandalf, Bilbo, Thorin, the Dwarf company, Legolas, Galadriel, Bard, the brave soldiers in the dwarf army, the efficient, elegant ones in the elf army, the list goes on.
Who wouldn’t want to see them in their glory one more time?
(I know the hashtag for the film is #onelasttime, but I believe where Hollywood and dollars and fans are concerned, can it really be one last time?)