Episode 6: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Pre-Screening Sips

  • I know this is the “bad” Middle-earth movie, but I had such a good time with it at the theater that I left feeling exhilarated
  • That being said, I haven’t seen it since, so the final episode of Screening the Shire might change things up
  • Also, I did have a student once call me on my high star rating of this movie on Letterboxd, so really this whole project has been for him

Post-Screening Snippets

  • The people of Laketown have been living next door to a dragon for ages and they never thought to invest in a dragon-bunker just in case the very grumpy lizard tried to attack them all
  • Opening this movie with the death of Smaug really harkens back to ROTK opening with the death of Saruman
  • For a movie that is considered far too padded, it is insane to me that Thorin’s transformation into Scrooge McDuck and back is so rushed
  • Seems like a weird time to just be discovering that Galadriel has magic snap powers, but okay
  • The amount of screen time dedicated to the horrible, unibrowed Alfrid is just downright disrespectful; that could have just been Legolas close-ups
  • I would need an entirely separate blog just to unpack all my feelings about the choice to have the head of the dwarf army be rendered completely by CGI and sound exactly like Mike Myers doing Fat Bastard
  • Admittedly, I’m not the best at math, but orcs + elves + dwarves + humans = four armies, no?
  • The actual two-hour battle sequence is thrilling—name another movie with elk-assisted decapitations, bat-assisted decapitations, dance move-assisted decapitations, cart-assisted decapitations—honestly, just name a movie with more decapitations
  • Speaking of, the extended edition of this movie is actually rated R—one can only assume because of all the decapitations
  • Nerds like to hate on Tauriel but I was fully invested in her inter-fantasy species romance with Kili
  • Ending with a connection back to The Lord of the Rings is welcome; forcing an Aragorn reference is painful

The Final Pint

The Hobbit: The Battle of Four Armies is the weakest link of the whole saga, but the battle itself is quite thrilling if you can get lost in the action. I was even left wanting a little more Middle-earth when it was over.

GRADE: B+

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