Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, & novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Release Date: 17 December 2014
Ok. I’ve had a few days to let this final chapter sit with me a bit and … sighs. I can’t believe it’s over. I think. I mean, we’ll see. There are several possible storylines the franchise can squeeze out if they wanted to, and with the blessing of the Tolkien estate of course. But I’m getting a head of myself so let me just scale back and focus.
Plot Summary: This movie picks up where the other left off. The dwarves woke up Smaug and Smaug decided to take it out on Lake Town, basically destroying the whole town. The Bard kills Smaug. Word spreads that Smaug is dead so of course the treasure under the mountain draws … enemies. Anyway, Thorin owes Lake Town a share of the riches and he kind of owes the Woodland elves so they go to the mountain to claim their shares which of course doesn’t happen because Thorin is suffering from … well, basically, greed. Meanwhile, orcs and such, including Sauran wants to take the mountain, not only because of the gold, but because of its strategic location. So these different parties end up coming together at the gates of the mountain and then the fun begins.
Of course there are other story lines woven into it, like Legolas and Thuriel; Thuriel and Kili; Sauran and the Nine v.s. The Elf leadership and Saruman; and well, other stuff. If I think about it, there’s a whole lot of other stuff, even if it’s minor.
I have to say, it was interesting seeing how all these storylines were woven together, especially when they tie in the Lord of the Rings franchise. To me, they did a decent job blending the stories together. There are some continuity issues and such, but that’s to be expected. Overall, pretty good.
While I enjoyed the screenplay on this one, I take comfort to know that the fates of the dwarves pan out differently in the books and I am glad for it. So very glad. I do love the Thuriel and Kili angle. I really do. And let me just say it, I did not see that one coming. And I had it the other way around because of what happens in the book, but I’m okay with the way it played out. Kinda cryptic I know, but if you’ve seen the movie and read the book, you know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, feel free to ask 🙂 .
The acting on this one was awesome, but then again I didn’t expect any different. And I’m sorry, no matter how popular this franchise is, Bilbo will always translate to Watson in my brain (I can’t help it! He’s a good Watson!). Martin Freeman? You rock! But yes, they all did a good job. Richard Armtage had done a great job with Thorin. Totally brings does him justice. And Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) did such a good job adding to this storyline. I’m almost sad we didn’t see her in Lord of the Rings, but I am glad she’s in this franchise. Kudos to the cast. Everyone of them.
The CG was excellent, again, as expected. Should I say it’s consistent? Yeah, let’s go with that. CG was consistent with the rest of the franchise, stuck to the same MO so … nice.
Bottomline: Excellent ending to an excellent franchise. I’ve heard some comments about the battle scene and how it should have been longer. I agree that they probably could have done a bit more, but I appreciated what I saw. I thought they did a good job trying to balance fighting and story. I’ve also heard some comments about how this final movie lacked plot, that the battle scene was all there was. So, I see mixed feelings about that battle, but the way I see it, it was nicely done. Sure they could have done more, done less, but overall I thought it was balanced enough. So again, excellent ending; a good final chapter. It is definitely going into my blu-ray collection, no question about it.
p.s. I think there is definitely a possibility for the franchise to do a spin off on Strider. That scene between King Thranduil and Legolas towards the end leads nicely into that possibility. I don’t think they’re going to do it, but I won’t be surprised if they do. There is a matter of whether or not there’s enough story there for them to pursue this angle. I could see it. We’ll have Aragon’s backstory and a solid link between the two franchises. We could see the possibility of the other wars that led to Aragon’s isolation, that could be cool. Truthfully, I think they could make a single movie on it.