Monday, December 29, 2014

17613--Do you know Elf-fu?

I'm sure Peter Jackson will find more work.

Now, with the last of the Hobbit movies unleashed upon us and being readily consumed, we are free to take the time to reflect.  I'll assume by now that you've either read the books or have familiarized yourself with the material.  From this point on, though, I'll speak freely.

You've been warned.

Picking up where The Desolation of Smaug had left us, we were treated to the final flight of His Resplendence, Smaug the Magnificent.  Inappropriately or not, I laughed my ass off watching him blaze a path from one end of Laketown to the other in a single pass.  Frankly, though, those barrel-riders were asking for it.  If they didn't want to be targets for the dragon, they shouldn't have lived within sight of Lonely Mountain.  There was a town outside Erebore, sitting on Smaug's doorstep.  If they weren't going to live over the horizon under aerial camouflage, they might as well have lived out there.  They could've chatted up the old fellow over the years, offered up some cattle...

Oh, well, hindsight.  Laketown had no chance.  The next best move would've been moving into...Smaug's doorstep.  Outer Erebore?  Whichever you like.  Anyway, move in and tell anyone who comes in response to Smaug's death that he's still alive.  "Shhh...His fearsome majesty has just gone back inside to sleep."  Maybe they could even get through Thorin's gold fever and get the dwarves to make some convincing grumbling sounds.

Don't get me wrong, though.  I'm not out to squelch the story.  Good stories come from bad choices, so the characters have to be allowed at least a few.  Too much logic has people moving out of haunted houses as soon as the walls start to bleed and where's your movie then?  Using logic to avert a war doesn't get you The Battle of Five Armies.

Were we entertained?  Damn straight.  If you liked the other dozen-plus hours of barefoot hobbits, staff-wielding wizards, and sword-swinging fighters, then you've already seen this one at least once.

What did we learn?  Always bet on the fifth army--the last ones to show up to a fight always have an edge; air-dropped cave bears rock; as in Star Wars, armor isn't always as useful as you might think it's going to be; Billy Connolly just can't help being funny; and as every installment has shown us, Elf-fu will jack a sucker up--Legolas, bitch!

Once again, well done.  Certainly better than time spent on another bit of tripe from Hollywood's rom-com division.

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