That’s what went through my mind when I got handed my ticket to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the latest and last installment of Peter Jackson’s six Tolkien movies.
I have always been a huge fan of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I think I enjoyed the overall feel of The Hobbit trilogy more. In The Hobbit series, we get to see where and how everything started, whereas in The Lord of the Rings, we see how it all ends. I liked the feel of The Hobbit trilogy more because of the sense of adventure and the light joy of the company of dwarves, hobbit and wizard, where with The Lord of the Rings we almost instantly start off with the impending darkness Frodo has to face and overcome. Also, there was more humor in The Hobbit trilogy while there was more seriousness in The Lord of the Rings because of the heavy evil threatening every move they made.
I love how Gandalf, personally my favorite character besides Bilbo and Bombur, is always at the rescue of the little company of dwarves and the one hobbit. I also find it amazing how much he has grown to love all of them, and how he acts like a father figure to Bilbo. Gandalf and Bilbo have a few sit-downs to discuss the newest situation they find themselves in, and try to come up with a solution. It is quite obvious that Gandalf is one of the most important and influential characters. After all, he is the one who urges Bilbo to come with them on the trip in the first Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. So you could argue that Gandalf started this all…
The director’s graphics in The Battle of the Five Armies was perfect in my mind. The scenery is glorious; it feels like you’re in another world when you’re actually just in a theater seat that thousands of other people have sat in. Also, the way that the director portrays what the valleys and buildings looked like based on the book makes me want to travel through every page and see it all for myself. Not just the special effects are amazing, though. The careful detail in everyone’s costume (especially the dwarves’ hairstyles!) must have been very time-consuming to plan and produce.
Now, I’ve heard from a few people that they loved the movie only because the whole film is pretty much one huge war, but I love it for the simpler things, like the storyline of Thorin’s struggles to overcome his greed for the dragon Smaug’s gold. Corrupted by greed, Thorin now acts like a king; he thinks he is above everyone else because he is the heir to his grandfather’s fortress and homeland, Erebor. While he acts like a huge jerk, willing to kill anyone who has a different opinion or who mentions his gold, a war is going on and threatens to come closer. While the enemy armies are at his door, armed with lethal weapons of all sorts, he sits on his throne safe and sound, letting his cousin’s army fight for him. Finally, he overcomes his greed and becomes the person he used to be: a loyal friend willing to die for the hope that his friends would survive. The nobility of sacrifice—and the possibility of redemption—is at the core of the movie, and that is what I most loved about it.
Like Gollum and Thorin felt about the ring and the gold, I will always treasure my ticket for the last film in an extraordinary series that came to life on the big screen.
Movie Musings is a regular movie column written by Amber Olson, Current Staff.
(Images are official publicity material from Warner Bros. Entertainment.)